Two months today, we’ve had the little guy.
I am having one of those days where I get a little overwhelmed. Dane and I have been talking a lot since he got home yesterday (YAY!) and I think that it’s possible that I have more reverse culture shock than he does, because while he was enjoying experiencing a new country, but really he was very focused on doing his job well… I was doing things like watching the Super Bowl and going to the mall, all while overly conscious of the contrast between my days and his.
I think a lot of my readers know this, but I used to organize events that would take place over a weekend where we would pack meals for hungry kids all over the world. These events had between 600 and 1,200-ish volunteers and we packed between 100,000 and 260,000 meals, totaling just over one million meals in the span of about 3 years.
I have since started a small organization as a partnership to Extreme Response called Carrier Ministries, traveled to South Africa, Ecuador, and Honduras with ER and Carrier, played music for orphans and underprivileged teens in Romania, traveled with my church to the countryside in Cambodia, attempted with limited (so far) success to start some sort of human trafficking awareness/activism at my church or to support whatever is going on in the community to that end, attempted with limited (so far) success to get involved in ministering to refugees in Lewisville, and then of course, got our license and our first foster placement.
Sounds a little exhausting, yes? If this sounds like bragging, I assure you that is not my intent. It sounds to me, from my perspective as maybe kind of the expert on, you know, me, like I still haven’t found what I’m looking for, as a wise Irishman once said (and as did I once before).
I have difficulty sometimes with scope – sometimes I look at something and it just suddenly does that crazy telescoping thing like you see in a movie where it just blows up and up and out and out until the guy standing on the top of the building is suddenly a satellite shot of the whole globe – you know how they do in movies? Like once I was practically depressed for an entire day because we walked by a BOGO discount shoe store. And wanting what we can’t quite afford. And a disposable culture. And and and, and America. (That’s a story for another day. Yeah, it’s a problem.)
Fostering has been interesting. I now have a person in my house, to whom I would otherwise have had ABSOLUTELY no connection. And I find myself doing the most bizarre things, like every time I hear something about his mother, my first thought is “oh, that poor girl.” I literally kind of daydream about what if we could kind of take both of them in. I learn about his other assorted family members and I wonder where they came from, and what brought them to where they are. I wonder where they would be if they had my parents, my schooling, my upbringing, and if I had theirs. Dane and I would love TO THE ENDS OF THE EARTH to be able to adopt this child, but I cannot bring myself to hope that the members of his bio family don’t have their act together, or to hope that they don’t want him. I’m left not quite sure what to hope, but hoping that God is in charge of all of it.
I have to admit to you guys – I don’t want to try to pack a quarter of a million cups of rice/soy formula in one weekend, any more. And I have been stressing for years about what does come next.
For the past two months, it goes like this:
Q: The world is vast, and huge, and there is suffering that we would not believe, and what can I possibly do about it? A: I need to go change a diaper.
Q: I know four hundred and eighty-seven people involved in four-hundred and eighty-one different non-profits and Christian ministries and causes. What can I possibly do that’s not already being done better? A: Wash these bottles, for what feels like the eightieth time today.
Q: I was given everything, growing up. How can I possibly live up to the “much that is expected,” with what I’ve been given? A: Kiss this chubby little cheek, and again and again, one hundred times, and then always one more.
These are the first truly satisfying answers that my spirit has gotten in a long time. I don’t talk about my spirit a lot, but I want you to know I’m serious. This might not be the one and only thing I was MADE to do, but it is for now. It is fulfilling and it is refreshing and it is teaching me, so so so many things.
I am going to be real with you guys. FMSC was a huuuuuge blessing to a lot of people, and continues to be. But it started to sap life out of me to try to convince people of how cheap and easy it was. There is a place for that. I don’t think it is my place, not any more. It is someone’s, and it is a great ministry. But not mine.
I don’t want to try to feed a quarter of a million people, that I will never meet or see, in one weekend any more. I want to live with one, walk with one, God willing one family, whether it is for two months or for the rest of my life. And what would be REALLY swell, I mean just fantastic, is if a quarter of a million other Christians would do the same thing. And then a million, until it telescopes out to the whole globe. Each one with just one, and after that maybe another, but for the long haul and through the sleepless nights and the muck.
Not a cup of rice, but a new life.
Not just “two hours of your Saturday and $40,” but “greater love has no man than this, that he lay down his life.”