September 22, 2010
I now call three different places home in a week. Going back to my host's house is "going home". Returning to the bus brings that same feeling of comfort that you get from sitting with an old frind who you never have to explain a thing to, or coming back to a place where you can just sit down, sigh, and be real. Many people who are meeting me for the first time here in the week ask where my home is and I tell them Ontario. 'Home' I believe isn't really a place persay, but a feeling of coming to a point of return to what you love, giving love, and feeling loved. If that is indeed the case, and I believe it is, then out on the long stretch of country raods in Kentucky I am home.
I am home, and I am also refreshed. It was my prayer that if God really wanted me to come back to tour that I would be refreshed about what is routine, excited for teaching and concerts, and mostly that my heart would really be open to loving a totally new and different group of children and team. My prayer has certainly been answered. I guess it is the same grace God gives teachers year after year to love the class they have for the year, and then let go, let them learn, and find their heart still just as open to the next group coming under their wing the next fall. I often think back to the children I met in Guatemala, and thank God for that experience, and for showing me that we have greater room within in us to simply love than we may have thought. I haven't once looked into the eyes of this new group of thirteen children I am an Auntie to and compared them to the other choir I toured with. There is nothing to compare. They are beatiful on their own, and each have their own unique personality and talents. And it is exciting to think in time to come I can look back on the years, and look back and be warmed by the thought of having two groups of African children who can extend my circle of family.
I will admit it felt strange at first to meet this new group of children at our base house in North Carolina where I spent the last month of tour with choir 32. It gave me an auwful heartache for the first week to be in a place of introductions in the same house I shared my final memories with children I knew so closely. But it is a reminder to the fact that relationships, close ones with deep roots, take our time. But the start of that doesn't take much- Deborah reminded me of that last week in our first host home. As she kept forgetting things to do before bedtime I would help her put away her headband, hand her the lotion, and remind her to get under the sheets. As I helped her she looked up to me and said
"Ah Auntie! THank you! You really love me...."
She then seemed to ponder that for awhile.
I've pondered that for awhile too since then.
All our little actions amount to showing love. And so here's to the months ahead, of learning which ways each of these children feel love the most, and then pouring affirmation, affection, and the compassion on them that will makes them realize they are uniquely loved.