I don't know if this blog has turned into some sort of confessional, or what, but it just seems fitting to put my heart on the table for anyone who is willing to walk beside me on this journey of following Jesus wherever He so faithfully leads us. It seems weird to do it via such a public venue, but it is something I really believe in and I ask the same from you and trust that this is how we were created to live in community with one another--sharing our sin, sharing our struggles, sharing our joys, sharing our questions, sharing His revelations.
I love love love the moments I get to spend loving children who, for whatever reason, need some extra loving. Wherever this can happen is where I am the most full. In these moments, the presence of sewage and flies and mud and inconvenience and sticky hands (my weakness) and discomfort and missing people and 'danger' are so far from my mind. In these places, Jesus' love for me is absolutely undeniable--it is the best thing I know.
Several weeks ago, I was sitting underneath a tree in Segera with some moms as the young children drank their morning porridge (uji). Precious little Josphine was laying in my lap as she swallowed slow, long sips of uji. I was thankful for the leisurely pace because it meant this time would last even just a bit longer. At one point during these sweet moments, I looked down and realized I was sitting in an ant pile. I quickly checked to see if they had already reached Josphine and when I saw they had not, made a very conscious decision to stay exactly where I was. I did not want to move because I feared that even a small scoot would hinder this pure bliss I was experiencing. Realizing this oddity later (show me the logic in sitting in an ant pile by choice....), I had no option but to praise Him for loving me so deeply through these slowed seconds. He is generous to provide these glimpses of Heaven all throughout the day and I pray to never stop craving these most intimate interchanges.
But they end in some way or another; they always do—and sometimes in my impatience, I feel like He waits too long to give me the next glimpse. Though I am overwhelmed to tears when I am knee-deep in these sweet moments, they pass and I am once again dissatisfied. I wonder if this is just my nature or how He created us to live… I have to conclude (for now ☺) that it’s a combination.
To be honest, sometimes I loathe the glimpses. I know they are all things GOOD and PURPOSED to keep me craving… more of Him--more of His Spirit’s guidance--more of His love—more expectation for eternity with Him—more yearning for justice displayed. The glimpses DO keep me craving, but often it’s for things that are not promised to me. Yes—I am FULL in these moments (even when covered in ants), but seconds after they pass, I approach God with the selfish, ungrateful wonderings: “okay, that was wonderful… so wonderful. So, why can’t this girl be mine??” “yes, I am loving every second of this…. but when am I going to be able to have my own kids that I can raise however I feel led to?” “it’s true, this baby has been nothing but a sweet gift to me-directly from Your hand, but why do I have to leave her now-just as everyone else has done?” …………….. I am dissatisfied. I want more and though He shows me time and time again that I am walking in His will *here* (with my heart walking around in lots and lots of little brown bodies, none of whom call me Mom) by the joy that is only explained by this, I am angry He will not give me more.
My stubborn self bites my lip and decides that I am throwing in the towel. I am tired of giving my heart to so many in the small, small ways I can from this (emotional and physical, both) distance. And recently, why on earth (!!!!!!) would He bring a baby--unloved, abused, neglected, sick, malnourished, dying--into my life to care and love for as my own for two short months, only to detach from her as soon as our attachment is secure (too secure, but secure nonetheless)??? Not even considering the personal pain--the pain and confusion that will be added to her life that is just now re-beginning... I have so many selfish questions. I believe I am willing to love her as my own, forever (though why does He always match me up with the stubborn, defiant, high maintenance ones!? :)),so why am I only given this small, small time with her?
Those are some of my current conversations with Him--they usually start with praise for the joy in these days (however difficult they are) and then segue to a whiny plea for more (inside or outside His will--just what I happen to want today, in this moment..) and then they eventually (and thankfully!!) end with repentance (because He listens to me, but all the while is waiting for me to remember He's got this :)) and prayers for strength and Spirit refilling to walk where and how and with who He asks for this day.
So, until the morning when I require hearing it once more, I remember that He cares more about the little one laying next to me--dirty feet on my pillow, preparing to gauge my eyes out as is her morning technique to wake me up, snoring like a horse. And though it seems crazy that He brought our hearts close for a short time, He did it on purpose. I remember that He is trustworthy... that it is not a long shot to believe that He cares enough about this girls heart (and my own) to not "mess around" with them for no reason. I remember that my life is infinitely richer because of the little lives He has brought in, and whether they come or go or stay forever (last option seems the only possible, but who knows), and so I will thank Him for that. I remember that it is a PRIVILEGE to love precious souls that need to know His love in human form and I am absolutely blown away that I get to do it. And I remember that we are meant to crave... I am meant to crave an eternity of these moments of intimacy with HIM, may it never cease until I am home.