Here is grace. For seven years, including two pregnancies many sleepless nights and busy days I was never diagnosed with malaria.
Here is grace. I experienced my first case of malaria only a few days after being treated for another disease which I had avoided up till then. Both laid me low and reminded me to long for the Great Physician.
Here is luxury. The rains have come and with it the land begins to share her fruit. We get local mushrooms that look like white chalky microphones, delivered to our gate. Other sellers brought a gallon of local honey, soft-ball sized avocados and potatoes. The mulberry harvest was so plentiful we couldn’t pick them as quickly as they ripened.
Here is beauty. I walked home with a friend past villages, through sorghum fields standing tall, crossed a shallow sandy river and a sliver of uncultivated, unpopulated bush. Along the way, I was delighted by the number of flowers we found. Most smaller than my pinky’s fingernail, with a detail so intimate you wish you could be a lady bug that lands on the petal and spends a day just absorbing its grace. Trumpet blooms, orchid-like, grass with a royal crown. Most often unnoticed among the rapacious weeds and shooting grass stalks.
Here is grace. Homeschooling has begun to reap results, measured in, if nothing else, fewer tears and tantrums. But also in words read and math problems solved, books of the Bible recited and an eager smile on school days.
Here is luxury. Here I am rich. Here the rich have a responsibility to employee the poor. I have women who help me wash our clothes, clean our house and watch our children. And they thank me profusely for the work. I have to work through my own awkwardness of hiring someone in my home to do things I see as my responsibility. In the end, we take care of each other, and they remind me I am not and cannot be an island in the body of Christ.
Here is grace. Our team had a meeting to discuss the work, why we’re here and how best to go about it. We talked. We listened. We prayed. We made progress.
Here is beauty. I hope I shall never tire of the sight of our mountain, Mt. Kadam. Truly it is a friend to me in how often it reminds me to stop, look up and be amazed by God’s creation.
Here is a taste of victory. I’m reading a book on joy. Its almost as risky as praying for patience or humility. I reach out to claim the strength of the Lord and my hand is instead filled with grief or selfishness. Yet I’m reminded that we cannot be surprised by trials or suffering, in fact we must face them eagerly fighting back the dark with the taste of victory already in our mouth. For our Lord has won, although it seems a mere unseen hope at times, it is complete. We march toward its full realization. It has its beginnings here, in the nascent church body, the volunteers who come to serve with us, in the sometimes subtle yet always intoxicating breath of the Spirit.
We are here. And so is the Lord.