Thursday, March 6, 2014

No one said this would be easy.

Once again, I'm scheduled to leave Malawi.  This time with no date for return.  This time, the goodbyes are final for lots of friends.  This time, there is no way of knowing if I'll be back.  I tell people that I will at some point, maybe this year, maybe again in 5 years.  I'm not sure, but I would like to visit again someday.  It feels like home.  I feel more attached to things here than I do at home, right now.  I feel more comfortable here than I do anywhere else right now.  I will fly out tomorrow for Uganda, unsure what the next year holds for me.

The last month has been incredible.  When I first woke up in a hospital bed, I immediately thought about how much longer it would be before traveling to Uganda.  I was prepared to go, mentally and emotionally.  But then it hit me.  I am incredibly lucky to be alive.  I am incredibly lucky to be able to spend another month in Malawi.  I am incredibly lucky to have downtime to focus and reflect.  So that's what I did.  I journaled, I read a couple books.  I prayed.  I remembered why I'm here in the first place.  When everything else falls apart, the gospel remains.  When you can't make sense of your life, the gospel still holds true.  When you feel abandoned, confused, worthless, stagnant, trapped, hopeless.  The gospel doesn't lose strength or power.  It isn't affected.  In fact, it's amplified.  It's light is brighter. 

[when our circumstances are the darkest, the light of our hope in God shines the brightest - "Gospel" JD Greear]

If there's one lesson that I'm constantly learning and being reminded - it's that every life is worth it.  Every life is a contribution.  In a country with tremendous distance between social classes, feelings of inferiority radiate from guardians, villagers and beggars.  We are not to disregard the lame or meek, yet we do.  I see it everyday.  I feel guilty.  I feel sadness.  I know that I want to love people, all people.  Everyone is worth it.  Not having money or a job or an education doesn't discount the worth of a person in God's eyes.  I want to see them through gospel lens.  I want to see them as a child of God, worthy of time, encouragement and sacrifice.  It's where I feel most vulnerable and uncomfortable.  When I don't know how to help or what to say.  But it's also there that I feel God.  I feel his presence.  When I get someone to smile that has been cursed at, overlooked and ignored all day.  When I treat people like people.  With respect.  And dignity.  We're all fallen, we all need grace.  We are in the same boat.  We could at least try to connect.   

Some lessons are easy.  Some take a lifetime.  I'm thankful.  For my extended time in Malawi.  For an opportunity to continue serving with CURE.  For the many friendships that will be formed in Uganda.  For the struggles, challenges, celebrations, adventures and rewards that lie ahead.  

Every life is worth it.   

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