Here I sit. Thinking.
A week and half since I came home from Peru. I've delayed this post because I couldn't decide what to write. I said I'd share all the stories here, but that's impossible! I could just copy all my journals to here, but that would bore you, and you'd miss so much. I'm also sharing about this trip in the elementary school chapel tomorrow, and have no idea what to say. So here I sit. Thinking.
How do I neatly sum up all my experiences in a way that you'll want to read and in a way that will challenge how you think, the way this trip has done for me? How do I boil a week of adventure and growth into a quick message? I don't have any answers, so here I sit. Thinking.
A part of my heart is forever lost to Peru and the people in it. Their faces are etched into my brain. Eduardo. Rosie. Junior. Milena. And the dozens of others I loved but didn't catch their names.
You know what I want to say? What's really really bugging me? The way people here at home judge. The prejudices so many form based on absolutely nothing! And it starts young. I work with teens and kids through the church and school. I've heard some of the teens talk about different countries and people groups and totally look down on them. I mention a country and I get "eeww, _(insert country name here) ". They don't even know why they feel this way, they have no good explanation. They just have a great dislike for everything from this country. Last week I was subbing in the first grade and we were learning a little bit about China. A little girl said, "I don't like China". When I asked why, the best she could do was "I just don't". Its been nagging me all week.
Where do they get this?! Parents? TV? Internet? My heart breaks to think that even children in our country are prejudiced against other people. Like we're somehow better than people in China or India or Peru, simply because we live in the United States.
They may look different, or speak different, but we all have the same needs. We all need clean air and water. We need food. We need friends and a purpose. Most importantly, we all need love. I've been there. I've hugged and loved on more children than I can count. And when I hugged them, they thrived on it. It was all they wanted. To know someone cared about them. Most of them don't get hugs, even from their parents. They're starving for love.
I don't even think I have the words to get this all out. How do I possibly make this change? How do I make people see that these are people. People with lives and dreams and needs. People just like us. Just like you. Just like me.
I have no more words for this. I wish I could just load people on a plane to meet these people. To talk to them, get to know them. Then maybe ...but would it really help? or are people so set in their narrow-minded ways that they wouldn't care.
I feel like Moses or Jeremiah, saying to God "Lord I don't know what to say. My tongue is slow. I'm just one person. What do I tell them?" The only answer, the only word that keeps running through my head as I sit here thinking, heart breaking, is Love. Love. Love the people around you. Love the people thousands of miles away. Love.
"Love is here. Love is now. Love is pouring from His hands, from His brow. Love is near, it satisfies. Streams of mercy flowing from His side. 'Cuz Love is here." (Tenth Avenue North)
I brought Love to the Amazon. I brought Love home. I want to give Love and change the world with Love.
God is Love. "The command we have from Christ is blunt: Loving God includes loving people. You've got to love both." (1 John 4)
"Why do we go with the flow? Or take an easier road? Why are we playin' it safe? Love came to show us the way. Love is a chance we should take. I'm movin' out of the way." (Britt Nicole)