January 18: reentry

It reaches this part of a trip, and I cannot get home fast enough. It feels a little like we are waiting for a plane that will never arrive. This will be my final post until we arrive home on Friday afternoon. Today we drove from one side of Nairobi to the other, and this time as I looked at the people, I felt wiser somehow. The experiences of these past few weeks are still very fresh and I feel part of what we passed.

We also became tourists, visiting two different marketplaces and having two very different experiences. One was a very controlled environment. The other became very chaotic. Our safety was suddenly compromised, and we retreated to our vans. I’m speaking only for myself (be mindful that shopping is never a pleasant experience for me) but being the tourist felt oddly out of character from what we experienced the past two weeks. Yes, you might say we were helping the poor by purchasing what they have made. But people looked at us and what they saw was the color of our skin. Mzungus must have an endless supply of money. Yes, it will feel good to have some momentoes to bring home so we will remember the trip. But I also know that whatever I purchase can never last as long or even begin to compare to the experiences that have changed me and will forever be part of the fabric of  my life.

As I read Luke 18, I wrote in my journal the question that Jesus asked the blind beggar: “What do you want me to do for you?” And like the beggar, my response: “I want to see.” My hope and prayer is that deep within me I will know, as I have not known before, what Jesus said next – “Receive your sight; your faith has healed you.”

I now realize that I was blind. May the process of receiving sight bring a faith that will heal me from the inside and out into my words and actions. It is time to go – to begin the process of reentry that I know will be the most challenging part of this trip. Life is not what it was. I am not who I was. Thanks be to God!

Today’s readings: Genesis 44-46; Luke 18

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