It was when I was in my first foreign country, Spain, that I learned another way of caring. It’s the kind that takes it slow and doesn’t pretend but once you are in, you are in…twenty years later and the family that has become my own says how true it all is.
It is very much the same here and yet there is a bit more hunting from the outside to find a way in, or so I have found. The students are more open to new chances to connect, but they can become disillusioned when Americans say they will write and then…don’t. And who has time for more than a FB friend and an occasional like?
It’s a hard way to walk but I don’t want to be the one giving, I want to learn to receive. And so I have. There’s a gentle knock and my neighbor comes in when my hubby is in the hospital. They’ll watch kids and run me to the hospital when I am utterly alone and they’ll let us use their shower when we come back from camp with no hot water.
And when Jesus says ‘neighbor’ and the way we are to love, we think of them.
If it’s a gift it’s given with the intricacy of intimate knowing. The kind that has thought about you and often hand-crafted. It’s the kind of beauty that is lost in so much commercialism where I am from. And I am humbled as I hold it all tender.
There’s the smiles and the hugs for kids who don’t speak the same language when we drop them off for Sunday school and the deep undistracted looks into eyes that speak words of knowing without saying a thing. There’s the community that’s at our son’s school that reminds of simpler days. And somehow it’s holding on here even though so much has been taken…there is so much that remains.