There are four drafts sitting in my Blogger now, each an attempt over the last three or so weeks to write about change. If I'd only guessed what was coming. But despite the unexpected, I'm finding myself settling in quickly and well, starting to love things about this small city.
And the truth is I love change--or, rather, I love big change. Every time I go to Subway (or wherever), I always get the same thing. Same-ness in the little things, creature of habit. But moving to another city, another continent? New language and weather and sky. New start, even. I wonder, now, how much that has to do with it. I moved so many times when I was little. Or maybe it's being able to look at all the same things in some new frame. The last night of Formacion, a handful of us stood in the dark below the mountain picking out the constellations and stars we knew. Vega, the double star in the Big Dipper, Andromeda, Pegasus. I don't know this sky, fall in Romania, half of it waiting to wheel from behind the mountain. But I know this piece, and this one, and standing there in the cold, so far north, I thought about the first time I saw the sky differently. Three years earlier, a balmy Colombian summer night, holding in my hand some things old, some things new.
And why not? I am a creature made new--"the old has gone, the new has come." And now everything looks different.
It is one of those nights. I want to run away with words. I want to get caught up in language and stay there for a few hours, but all the immediate and present are tethering me here on a bed which is not my own behind a borrowed closed door. And I'm praying now for patience and grace, mostly to not be so selfish. That's another thing about change: it pulls you apart, sprawls you, has no space for dark places. And in the end you find yourself piecing yourself back together with bits of the old and new, a patchwork of life made new again and again.
I am certain I'm in the right place--why here and not South America, not North Africa, I don't know that I'll ever know. And for how long? What of the next change? But even that changes. Now it looks like place: apartment, city, nation. But even it has its different faces. There's nothing but to see.
For now, all of this has got me firmly rooted in the moment. The trafficked girls we met with tonight. Trying to quiet the part of me that would make stolen milk into something much more bitter, the part of me that would use the word stolen. And I'm praying for change within myself toward grace and gentleness and love. But more, outside myself. Those girls tonight. And the students we've been praying for that we haven't even met yet. Bobociada on Thursday and the girls we'll be discipling. Sowing change, sewing it, having been stitched so together ourselves: something that will endure. Surely this is what you make of so many pieces from so many places.
Lord, help me to do it well.