Faces

18 Aug

At the beginning of the summer, meeting all these new kids in this new place made my head hurt. I was just trying to remember new names and identify new faces. It was hard.

Sometimes meeting all these new people in all these new places makes my heart hurt. I’m just trying to live the way Jesus told me to and love in a likewise manner, and so I connect. And then I have to leave. And a very large piece of my heart stays with them. I don’t want to think about having two weeks left to figure out how to say goodbye to that part of my heart. And so I live today.

Today I had dirty fingers laced through mine as I walked down trash-strewn streets and a little one cried because I didn’t have an extra hand to hold.

Today I was invited in out of the scorching sun and sat on a falling apart chair as I swung the baby in the hammock and the grandmother jabbered in a language I didn’t understand and the little girl curled up on my lap.

Today I shared smiles with beautiful faces.

Today I brushed back sweaty bangs and tight-hugged tiny shoulders.

Today I played peekaboo and gave piggy back rides and communicated through laughter and the few Khmer words I’ve learned.

Today I loved them so much it hurt and wondered if they could feel it.

Today I wondered if it hurt them more for me to come and love and leave than it would if I hadn’t come at all.

Today I looked into big brown eyes and knew the answer.

This summer is such a gift. Over and over I stop in the middle of joy-burst moments and whisper thank you. It’s hard for me to get into circumstances like these and connect myself — really connect myself and then leave. It’s hard for me to become vulnerable all over again and again and again. I don’t like it. Really, I don’t. But today, playing with the kids, just laughing, and watching and holding them, it struck me. It’s always better — always — to love. To connect. It hurts to connect and then leave. But it hurts me more not to. Do I have what it takes to love them? No. I can try and I can think I do, but the reality is that in me dwells no good thing. Except for Jesus. So each day I ask for Him to be what comes out of Ervina.

Those kids might forget about me in a few weeks. But that’s ok.

All I want is for them to remember what it feels like to be loved by Jesus.

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6 Responses to “Faces”

  1. Abby August 18, 2011 at 10:25 pm #

    I love this… And I agree. As hard as it sometimes is, I agree…

  2. Chelsea Anne August 19, 2011 at 9:21 am #

    Jesus told us to love. He didn’t say it wouldn’t hurt.
    Being vulnerable in the world but secure in Him, that is what we get. It’s worth the pain. ❤

  3. Raquel August 19, 2011 at 8:38 pm #

    Loving and leaving..the life of a missionary or anyone who moves. Its difficult, you have to grieve well but love IS the bottom line to life with Jesus. Good thoughts!

  4. krissy August 20, 2011 at 4:14 pm #

    melt my heart. precious. even Jesus had to leave. but he left us with love… we are to follow his example.

  5. Rebecca Rose August 20, 2011 at 9:20 pm #

    Beautiful.

  6. clarita August 23, 2011 at 2:25 pm #

    Coming and reading your posts after being gone a week is so wonderful… and I sit with tears in my eyes. You two love so deeply, wherever you are, and that is Jesus all over.

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