I’m packing, again. Finding clothes, filling little bottles, sorting out my house, making sure there’s enough food and supplies - human and feline - for my housesitter. Weighing my suitcase, to make sure that I fall, safely, within the 50-pound (23-kilo) limit. Finding places to put little stuffed animals (shoes work), and taking out that “t-shirt that I really don’t need…” so I can can put more supplies in the bag. Writing sub plans for six days (!!), and essentially making sure that everything’s in order for my classes while I’m gone (if you’re a teacher, you know how much work that is…).
And, breathing. Because this whole leaving-for-two-weeks-to-journey-to-the-ends-of-the-Earth-during-the-middle-of-the-school-year is crazy. Exhausting. Brain-numbing.
And, there are times that I wonder if it’s worth it. I mean, I’m going to be FLYING for over 22 hours. One way. Not counting the layovers, which are long. Sleeping under mosquito nets, taking anti-malarials which do not sit well with my system, being in a climate that’s muggy and HOT (like, 90ish-degrees at 2:00AM, kind of hot). Being in close proximity (as in, they’re sitting on me) with smelly, dirty children. Myself getting very dirty and sweaty and gross. While I enjoy a good “adventure,” I’d much rather it be in a climate that’s temperate-to-cool. Where I don’t sweat.
There are so many reasons why this is a “bad idea.” So many reasons that, if I give in to my selfish, ME-driven desires, are quickly put into the “Nope” category, and could easily talk me out of this “adventure.”
There is a voice, whispered deep in my soul, that says, “This, THIS is what I made you to do.” It’s a voice that I’ve listened to over and over again, hence this crazy, adventure-filled life that I’ve lead. It’s the voice that’s taught me to love, taught me to look past the outside of a human to see the PERSON underneath. The voice that has called me to do crazy, awkward, “are you CRAZY??” things in the name of love.
The voice that reminds me of children named Gift. And Beatrice. And Jonathan Saidi. Zione. Shadrek. Beauty. Wisdom. Brigit...and with each name comes a face. A story. A heart that needs to be loved.
And so, I pack. I write sub plans. I organize my house, and then I gather my amazing high school students around me, and we’ll get on many planes and travel many, many miles for just the chance to love. Even if only for a short while. Because those children need to be told, once again, that they are loved. Deeply. Wholly. Completely. By the One who made them. And, they need to be shown it - tangibly - by those of us who know the One who made them and called them.
So, yes. Again and again and again. I will go.