Gulu, Uganda 2
It is so icy and cold outside. My heater is working overtime in our drafty little apartment. My husband and boys are taking a sunday afternoon nap in our bed and are snuggled so close that they only take up 1/2 of the bed - it's precious. Earlier this day, we occupied the most restless row in the back of church. The sound of candy cane wrappers and whispers of wanting the communion meal, along with the sound of busy markers. It has been a delight-filled sunday. Even so, I can't help but think of Sunday next week...sleep deprived and int he warm (or hot) air of Uganda.
I am not packed (or even close), but I do have my son's anitmalarials on the counter to begin in a few days. I am awaiting many parcels from people who have friends in Gulu and wish to send a special something for the holiday season. After I see how much room is taken by these packages, I'll decide how many personal things I can bring.
I have enjoyed having a computer for the past week. A friend gave me money to buy one to travel with and leave with HEALS. The org. we will work with does not have a laptop. They have no idea it is coming - I can't wait to give it to them. A person asked me if I would miss having one at home (I usually go to the college where my husband works to get online). I honestly had not thought about it b/c I am so excited to leave it.
As I prepare to leave, I am thinking of my son. I am wondering what his little mind will grasp, understand, wish for. What will his hands touch, his mouth taste and where will his feet and heart guide him? I am excited to watch him write in his travel journal and read it when we return and again in 5 years and 10 years, as I believe this trip will only open his 6 year old eyes even more.
I am also remembering words of kierkegaard ~
we pretend to be unable to understand it because we know very well that the minute we understand, we are obligated to act accordingly.
and henri nouwen ~
compassion asks us to go where it hurts, to enter into places of pain, to share in brokenness, fear, confusion, and anguish. compassion challenges us to cry out with those in misery, to mourn with those who are lonely, to weep with those in tear. compassion requires us to be weak with the weak, vulernable with the vulnerable, and powerless with the powerless. Compassion means full immersion in the condition of being human. (from his book Compassion)
I pray that he begins to understand and has to act. I pray that this is the continuion of a lifetime of true compassion.
I have a home full of college kids coming for dinner in a couple of hours. It is our sunday ritual - feed the kids that come b/c the cafeteria is closed on campus. We will have a cookie decorating contest for the 2nd year in a row and celebrate the end of a semester and the start of Christmas break. Happy Sunday ~
Off to bake,