Tuesday, September 2, 2008

ordinary beauty.

i tend to be a continually reflective person. but i've felt even more reflective lately.

last friday, 29th august, marked a year since my arrival in grenada. so i've found myself pondering what life was like a year ago. and what life is like now. and i've been escaping to waterfalls. and sitting by the sea. as i've read old journal entries. and entered new ones.

i discovered these words written on the plane ride. somewhere between jamaica and barbados...

"i think how ridiculous this all is. i just left everything i've ever known to go to some random place. with a vague job description. having communicated with only one person. primarily through email. and i'm staying for sixteen months. no one's going to look like me. talk like me. what the hell am i getting myself into? some might say i'm going on faith. i've got more courage than most. i think i'm naieve and foolish myself. but for some reason, or set of reasons, this is how life is working out. on my own, i'm bound to screw this up. it is you, God, that can make this beautiful. take all that i am - broken, awkward, anxious, unsure. and make me into an instrument of your peace. an instrument of your love. overcome my imperfection. not my self-ambitious will. but your pure and good will be done. on earth as it is in heaven. make me one with your spirit. as you guide my feet. might i joyfully follow you. right now i feel pretty alone. and i long for some sort of community to be a part of. to live alongside people. serve alongside people. pray and worship alongside people. where there is suffering. where there is poverty. where there is injustice. and not that i can overcome these things by any means on my own. restoration comes from you. it is my prayer that i might be a part of what you're doing. that through you, i might do 'small things with great love.'"

and following these words, on fresh pages of a new journal, i began to record this grenadian life. and i'm amazed at the newness in my voice. the idealism. the wide open eyes. and i give thanks for those first experiences. learning to wash in the river. learning to cook grenadian food. sitting by the road with glenda. walking around barefoot. playing in the sea with kids. hiking to waterfalls. visiting st. george's. figuring things out. missing home. discovering home.

and i really didn't know what i was getting myself into. but i prayed for a community to be a part of. and i found it.

and i feel like the newness has certainly worn off. and life has become ordinary. but there is beauty in the ordinary. as i still wash in the river. these days beside paulita. as i bathe in the sea. and admire the sunset. as i take in the cool evening breeze with bloatie. and wait for the bread van with daisy. as i make a morning stroll through a neighborhood where everyone knows my name.

and my perspective is certainly different than those first days. beyond ways i can express in words. because of all i've seen. and heard. and lived. and these days, it is my prayer that i might continue to live with openness. to everyday life here. to be mindful of the gift that all this is. to seek guidance from the holiness dwelling in me. to honor the holiness in others. and all around me. to give thanks for where i've come from. to appreciate where i am. to trust in where i'm going.

so thank you to all. who have offered your love and support and prayers on this ridiculous journey i've found myself on. may God guide our feet on these paths. as we seek to do small things. with great love. wherever we are. amidst whatever ordinary beauty we find ourselves.

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