Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Pensamentos Mistos

I got in the car to drive to work earlier this morning and wondered to myself if I still remembered how to drive. While this skill is still in question, I can at least be assured that my ability to dwell on half-conceived thoughts while driving is still very much intact.

A) Though I encounter very little danger here in the suburbs, I've had my share of sketchy encounters in alleyways and middle-of-nowheres. Still, the first time I felt fear for my safety was last summer, in Dearborn, while being immersed in a culture of misogynic domination. I didn't have to worry about that during our European adventures, as I was practically always flanked by someone, but the frequent reminders of my feminine frailty turned a notch in my mind today as I walked down Daboll Street alone in the dark. It's an odd feeling to be accosted by fear where you previously never felt it before.

B) Walking through the twilight on the Lisbon waterfront on Sunday night was the most divine feeling, I felt assured that heaven would be the same climate. But today I found myself striding through the sunny Kingston breeze, and breathed deeply and thought not just about His Kingdom come but also His kingdom coming. The warm welcome back at work and the eager testimonies of the youth group kids onsite and the bliss of being loved by my cherished family were apt reminders that my eagerness for Home should not detract from my gratitude for my Sojourn.

C) Coming home has been like sticking my head in a cold shower of news, and I keep trying to rinse the travel fatigue out of my hair without getting brain freeze. I am alternatively cheered and grieved, emboldened and overwhelmed. I feel such a shift in my heart, like it was a jar full of marbles, and when it cracked the marbles were given room to roll around when I walk. I don't want to forget what I learned, or perhaps more appropriately, I want to synthesize what I've experienced in order to learn from it. Like any introvert, I bask in the clarity of hindsight. There is so much to do, people to get back to, things to pray about! And there is the pondering in my heart, to see the movements of God.

Been home for about twenty-four hours now. I'm not sure if I want this odd weightlessness feeling to fade away.

Spain v. Portugal, 2:45pm ET tomorrow. Viva Portugal!

Saturday, June 9, 2012


It's odd, to be awash on another continent with people you love, seeing sites that are older than you can even really imagine, laughing in the midst of people who are very similar but places that speak of a difference to marvel at. It's very odd. Each new day is an exercise in suspending disbelief.

Your brain gets so fatigued, listening hard for words you recognize, willing yourself to understand, and nothing. Even when you latch onto a word here or there, by the time it's been processed a million more words have flown by. So you spend a lot of time smiling.

And trusting that He is making me better, that each day is another exercise in grace. That I will have more mindfulness and love and empathy to show for the day's successes and trials. Towards the people for whom I have such affection, both those among me and these strangers, to be ever growing and ever grateful.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Casting a line

When internet is unexpectedly available for the first time in ten days, you don't know what to do with yourself.