Ideas have been churning in my mind for this blog (and a few others) as our family engaged with a mission team from our home state around Costa Rica; as I sorted, gave away, decluttered, and packed prior to boarding our flight; on the airplane as we flew home to the U.S., and during rare quiet moments interspersed in my life since arriving in North Carolina three weeks ago.
Strangely, some days it feels like moments have only passed, while others it seems like time is passing too quickly. My present reality is strangely familiar, but passes through a lens that has been my reality for the last 4 years. Some days, English and Spanish intermingle and words don't come easily in either language. Some days tears well up in my eyes at the strangest times, and emotion overtakes me. But then the quiet voice of my Heavenly Father comforts me and I acknowledge that time spent in another culture has changed me, my thoughts and desires, and now compels me to reach out to the poor in spirit wherever that may be. In all honesty, I enjoy the temporary pleasure that a six pack of Chick-Fil-A chicken nuggets may bestow, yet yearn for gallo pinto, cafecito, and impromptu visits with Latino friends and clients. I momentarily bask in the cool refreshment that the icy air conditioning and a iced Starbucks latte offered in the local Target, but return items to shelves after selecting only a few, and return home overwhelmed by choices, assaulted by advertising, and seeking refuge with family and friends.
These days have been filled with blessing and provision. I came kicking and screaming, figuratively speaking. But I realize that the burden is deeper that originally defined. My heart's burden is for all those who seek. Those in beautiful neighborhoods in the suburbs or decrepit urban areas in disrepair, at home or abroad --the rich and poor alike are affected. We all need love and encouragement, a hope and a future.