We are somewhere over Casablanca right now at 1:00am. I can not sleep, this is normal for me on a plane. So I make a new play list on my ipod that consists of… Bon Iver, Daughter, Hammock, Motopony, Jose Gonzalez, Active Child
…all in order to set my mind at ease. I am surrounded by beautiful people that been captivating me with their stories. Stories of their Ethiopian heritage, the struggles of their culture, the differences in their tribes, and the corruption of their government that keeps the people in a constant struggle. Children walk by me and smile and laugh every hour or so. One kid walked by straight into my stomach with a head butt laughing! I am already in love.
I am yet to meet a face that does not come with a smile, not a curtesy smile, but a smile in the truest of form. My friend Yahvia (pronounced Yahweh) behind me is from Togo, he has liver cancer and does not have much time left. He just had radiation treatment in Maryland, is heading to Togo to visit family and then going back to Maryland for more treatment. He must weigh 90 pounds, and carries one of the sweetest dispositions I have ever seen, especially while being in great pain on a 13 hour flight. I help him lean his chair back, because he does not have the strength to to do it himself.
My eyes are full of liquid on the verge of loosening, but I hold fast. He looks as if he was once a strong and steadfast, I see it in his eyes as his face tells me that he is holding fast as well.
Yahvia is alone, yet everyone around him is caring for him in ways that I never see at home. My soul weeps at the way they are loving and serving him. I am in love.
I have felt this feeling before in Romiana during the fall of Communism, in Rwanda post genocide, in the underground church in China- why does oppression bring such strong love to the surface? God moves strong in the midst of it, a place that he works magic thicker that anywhere else! I sit here with my elbows on the tray, resting the bridge of my nose between two fingers, massaging the small area between the eyebrows to relax.
I am in deep anticipation of the movement this week, the wind in the trees, the life in the city and the Divine Presence as Barbara Brown Taylor calls it.
My good friend Sarah who sent me a text message as I boarded yesterday, “ Paint with the colors the seraphim extend to you…whether in word or touch.” The movement has begun.
I can no longer hold back the liquid behind my eyes as I have turned around in my seat to help Yahvia open a few of his 12 medicine bottles, he is looking extremely worn down after 8 hours of sitting in an airplane. He apologizes to me again for needed my help.
I tell him, “Yahvia, we are now friends, so I am here to help you.”
He answers very excited, “You speak french?!
I laugh and speak slower this time, “No, We are friends!”
His eyes bury deep into mine as he grabs my hand with tears in his eyes, “You are my friend?”
“Yes, Yahvia we are now friends!”
He doesn’t let go and my heart is lost as I see his wedding ring and beginning to think of his wife, alone, waiting for his return and hoping for good news. I stand watching him finish his medications, he grabs my hand again, his grip is weak, he thanks me and I slide back around in my seat. I had no idea where my soul would lead today, between the dreaming and coming true, as Barbara Brown Taylor would say. Tomorrow holds more and I will await the Divine Presence as it meets me on the road to Grunchire. The reason that we are here.
To find out what we are doing in Ethiopia with orphan prevention, please visit: http://bit.ly/love_hope