Friday, March 5, 2010

Heart Dive

After reading back through a few of my recent posts, I realize how personal and introspective they've become since my return from Jamaica. It's been almost a month since I've been home (goodness, how time flies!), and yet I feel like I'm still in "recovery mode". At our team's debrief lunch together last Sunday, we gathered in a circle in Kathy's livingroom and spent over two hours sharing our experiences, thoughts, observations and things we'd seen God do during the trip. It was a powerful couple of hours, spent laughing, reminiscing, tearing up, and remembering the incredible experience. As we were wrapping up, one of my dear, dear, new friends - Dr. Wong - said quietly, "You know, I think Jamaica gets more and more powerful the farther away it gets. Even though we're not there anymore, memories and lessons continue to come to mind, and even though we're back home, I think God is at work in our hearts just as much, if not more. Jamaica will keep oozing out of us...."

I, I know, he's right.

Something happened to me, to my heart, while I was there. I'm not entirely sure what it was. I'm not completely sure at what point it happened, whether it was actually there or upon my return home. I'm not sure how to explain it....but something is different. I keep trying to rationalize my feelings, trying to analyze them, trying to put them into words - but I keep failing. I frustrate myself when I try to communicate the things I saw, learned, heard, experienced. I saw so much pain, so much hurt, so much dispair, so much sadness...and so much hope, so much beauty, so much peace, so many glimpses of the goodness and majesty of God.

It's the kind of thing that when World Vision News came in the mail today, I poured over the pages. It's the kind of thing that brings specific faces to mind when I read:

"Every year, about 9 million children die before they reach their fifth birthday. 99 of them in developing countries.
Sub-Saharan Africa - 4.5 million
South Asia - 3 million
East Asia/South Pacific - 800,000
Middle East/North Africa - 500,000
Latin America and Caribbean - 300,000
Elsewhere - 200,000
About 6 million of the deaths are from preventable causes with low-cost solutions."
What are we going to do about that reality? How is that going to change? Even though I'm not a doctor yet, it's hard being home knowing there's SO much to do. There is so much work left unfinished. There are so many people that need help. There are so many children who desperately need help. I held some of them.
And so, right now, 20 days after coming home, I'm still digesting Jamaica. Just as Dr. Wong said, I am continuing to experience Jamaica and feeling God at work in strange, mysterious ways that I don't fully understand. Exploring my heart is interesting and frightening and exciting. I wish I knew what lay in store.

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