I am that guy-
just back from the trip that makes me look at all of it a little bit different.
I look aghast at my child who grabs at gifts with a fervor that makes me question all of my parenting techniques. Attending a chicken buffet, within the confines of my head, I question if Paul- my new 9-year old friend in Uganda who drools non-stop and communicates without the gift words- I wonder if he would like fried chicken.
What can I do with what I have just beheld? I know the right the answer here folks- so save it. The right answer is not sufficient for me today. You’ll tell me it wears off in time and I’ll tell you I hope not.
I have returned from our trip to Kenya and Uganda; the one where we met
- kids who harbor a host of physical and mental disabilities.
- children who are outcast by their community because they are different; different means cursed, contagious and a drain on already limited resources.
- mothers who have risked it all to keep their child.
- women who have abandoned the one they bore when it became evident that they did not meet expectations.
- the rarity of a father who stayed with his wife and child when disability hit home.
I know the knocks on short-term trips. And there’s ample reason to question their worth and weigh all the things we do in order to avoid all of the selfish ways we interpose ourselves with solutions instead of entering in with ears and eyes.
What do you do when the need is overwhelming? How do I live within the tension that God has called me to these little ones and yet all that I do is woefully short of the place my bones burn to go. Stay tuned, I might go crazy. It’s a short trip if you know me.
I am just American enough to try to fix it.
Just refined enough to know I can’t.
It is at the very moment that prayer seems not enough, that petition is precisely the calling. But I’m too honest to say I am okay with sitting still- though nothing that outlives me will come without it.
So, today, racked with what I have just seen, with who I have just held. I am sitting here, typing this out as a prayer to the One who I don’t get; to Him who loves me enough to move me to care about things other than myself. To the one who is able to do more than I can ask or imagine…..and believe me, I am asking quite a bit.
Here you can read more about the trip, training & work of 99 Balloons. Learn more about the two partner organizations we visited at these links (Ekisa & Heshima)