Thursday, November 10, 2011

Letting Tears Open

My heart is overwhelmed tonight by all those who need, that "poverty begins with a poverty of relationship," as Ann Voskamp says in her recent blog documenting her and "the farmer's" trip to Ecuador to meet several of the children they are sponsoring through Compassion.  A year ago, Nora and I decided to adopt a boy--Juan is his name--from Mexico.  And we put his picture in a frame that says "Love" and there were two frames left empty, one that says "Believe" and another "Home."  And in January, Nora and I will fill those two empty frames with pictures of two more children who need help.  Juan writes letters telling us of his grades, his best friends, how he loves soccer.  He signs these letters love and calls me godmother.  And I begin to build dreams of visiting him one day at his home so I can see beyond this small, blessing-filled world; so I can bring some of these things to his door.

I didn't think we had enough money to do this, but $38 is so easy to find, and clearly God gave me that much each month, and Nora and I have always had everything we could need--more than enough--friends showing up with ground beef and corn, a second hand store that always seems to have what we need.  Mom and Mike always being there to help with childcare and all the projects I couldn't have done alone--a new bathtub, a compost bin, a fenced yard, and a sprinkler system for the garden.

Grandma Aanonson and I were talking at the table tonight, and she mentioned how they ended up living here in a farmhouse just a mile down from where I live now.  The farmhouse has since been torn down to make room for higher yields, but those months they spent here in the late 60's changed everything for more people than we can even know.  And it all began with a conversation in a bar between a chemical salesman and Grandpa Aanonson, one that inspired Grandpa to make a call and move his family to Seward, Nebraska.  They lived here long enough for Mom to meet and fall in love with Mike who was growing up just two miles down from where I live now, and then they had to move--Mom and Aunt Deb and Grandma and Grandpa.  And I can't imagine the nights Mom spent wondering if she'd ever see him again, and they left the farmhouse that is only there in memory and some 27 years later, Mom came back and here I am, too.

And it makes me wonder how our small words have gigantic ramifications--how a random conversation at a bar could eventually lead to this life that calls us out of ourselves, past the Nebraska fields and all the way to Mexico.

Lord, let my words be those that only heal, only love, only say the truth, only inspire, only lift, always in Your presence.  Let my words be those that I would say in Your presence.  Let us only speak words of peace to and about each other.

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