Tuesday, September 2, 2014

To Get Away...just for a moment...

Can you imagine...just for a moment...that you are sharing your living space 24/7 with at least 4 people, but up to 30 people. Wait...it isn't your space...it is space "loaned" to you. You have no bedroom, no true living room. A kitchen with minimal amenities...you know...pots and pans, spices, a pantry, a refridgerator bigger than the one you used in college, stove, oven...you know the important stuff you need to feed your family. Your bedroom is a corner of the small room used for worship services, or the couch in the fellowship room, or perhaps you share the children's classroom (6' x 10' approximately) with another person. Your bed is a very small cot with a thin mattress or a pallet on the floor. There is a bathroom available, but no shower. The baptistry is the closest thing to a shower space you have. You totally depend on the kindness of strangers, well, not exactly complete strangers. You depend on the brothers and sisters who worship in this building for the place you lay your head at night. You are not home...you do not know for sure if you have a home to return to...you have no idea how long it will be before you can even attempt to see if your home is still standing, or if standing has every thing been stolen or vandalized. BUT...there are no riots in the streets...no t.v. cameras capturing the heart of war, umhhh, I mean the heart of conflict...there are not random gun shots...no hordes of people who used to live in peace with each other screaming horrible things, no shells exploding...no houses burning...no people bleeding in the street tossed about like rag dolls...no stench of fear, no fear of death at any moment. You've left your home, your beloved garden, your job, your school, your soccer field, your local grocer, your inside the home plants, your security, your bank account, nearly everything you own, and everything you once counted on as "normal" in your life. You are now a refugee. You don't want to be...you abhore that label...you are a hard working person...you don't depend on people to give you things...you have always taken care of yourself...you don't want or need pity...you don't want to depend on charity...you are a human being...you would like to live with a little dignity...you want to go home...like it was before... Something totally out of your control has changed your life forever. You left your home in fear, and maybe even in a panic. Decide...now...what is important...throw it in a bag and get out. This day has been coming for awhile, but you are not prepared. You always thought it wouldn't really come...not to your home! Not to YOUR family! Not to YOUR country! It has. So...you smile bravely...you keep your hands busy...you try not too think to much or you will cry and maybe never stop! You try and "make the best of it", your reassure the children it "won't be too much longer", you tell anyone that asks "I'm ok". I see your eyes, red rimmed, exhausted, fear filled...it is NOT ok...it may NOT be over soon...your best may NOT be good enough. This is where your faith kicks in big time. I trust you Jesus takes on a new, deeper meaning. You will get thru this, but it won't be easy or quick. You are not alone, God is walking by your side, the world wide church is praying for peace in this wonderfull country and they are sending support. Hold fast, don't give up! I got the blessing of sharing lunch today with 6 delightful people. My interpreter, the preachers wife, and four refugees, including one small boy, Roma. For just a moment, we were just woman chatting over lunch. Friends who are getting ready to say good bye after a short visit. What will we eat? Have you ever had French Onion Soup? What about tacos in Ukraine? Laughter...decisions...sharing photographs of children and grandchildren...Mimi and Babushka stories...quiet...no preparing food or being responsible for the clean up. "I am so glad I got to finally meet you, I've know your daughter for awhile"..."It seems like you just got here and now you are leaving"..."I always put the leaves from a cherry tree in my pickles, it makes them crunchy"..."I'll try that, I love crunchy pickles" Just woman...just sharing...just laughing...no war...no fear...no refugees...just sisters and friends. I would have paid double the price for the meal in order to get that look of quiet comfort and encouragement I saw in their eyes. Just for a moment...it was just friends sharing a meal. Thank you God for the moment.

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