Spending 5 weeks in the US has a way of gradually dulling my senses. Most days in Texas, I did feel like a fish-outta-water; uncomfortable with the excess of concrete - well, really with the excess of all things. I found it absurd that lone drivers in thousands of vehicles covered the streets every day while all complained endlessly about the gas prices. Why not make friends with your neighbor and drive together?
Alex and I both were shocked to observe couples out for a romantic dinner sitting and texting or e-mailing on their smart phones. What happened to old-fashioned, face-to-face conversation? How do these folks ever expect a relationship to grow anything but cold when they communicate through a piece of metal and plastic?
On the flip side, I did find myself growing a bit comfortable with the cushy things that the US offers … warm showers, lots of sugary carbs, fruits of all types, clean water, cheap clothes, and so on. I loved being able to drive and have dinner with friends. There was comfort knowing my family was just in the next city rather than across the Gulf of Mexico.
My mind played tricks and gradually seemed to forget the details of the children we love in Honduras … their images, their stories grew hazy. When I felt myself forgetting too much, I played our video over and over and smiled back at the photos of those little ones who mean so much to us. I had to remind myself. I began to forget.
Our job while visiting the US is to give voice to our friends back in Honduras… to speak until our voices can’t speak any more about the needs of God’s people in another venue; a place where people survive with suffering as their permanent friend.
And yet, what kind of voice can I be when I find myself slightly comfortable in one place and slightly forgetful of the other?
We are back in Honduras now. The air is humid and hot, the Spanish language is returning to our tongues, we are growing more and more ‘awake’ as we get closer to Puerto Lempira. All of the reasons we are here return to the forefront of our minds… we, once again, take comfort in living moment-by-moment, ready for what God brings today with little worry about tomorrow. I love the simplicity of life in Puerto Lempira … the ease of walking to the store, eating basic food, spending time talking to people on the street, doing the basic daily things to keep a home running, teaching my kids, celebrating the rare little things like marshmallows and real butter.
Now, if only we could combine this simple life with our US family and friends! I do believe some of the stress problems that people experience in the US are related to the complicated nature of living there. Just my observation. Maybe I’ll write on this topic one day.