No matter how much I wanted to, I didn’t wake up in El Salvador today. My week with Compassion International is over, and I’m grieving that.
I got home Friday night around 11pm and woke Orison (our then-4-year-old) and he greeted me very drowsily. In the morning he didn’t even remember it! But when he woke up Saturday morning, he was FIVE! That’s right, I got home just in time for his birthday.
We spent the day pretty quietly together as a family. But Abraham and I were so tired that by about 5pm we both knew we needed to get out of the house or we were going to be miserable until bedtime. In some random moment of insanity, Abraham suggested that we take Orison to ride a few rides at the Mall of America (something he’s only done a couple times and would be totally thrilled by).
So… it was Saturday night at the Mall of America. Not for the faint of heart, my friends. I don’t think we’d ever been there on a Saturday night before. It was so.stinkin’.busy. So full of people with waaaay too much.
As we were talking toward the amusement park area, I told Abraham, “I’m feeling a little sick to my stomach.”
“Literally?” He asks. (All too often I’m actually sick to my stomach, so he has to make sure….)
“No… more heartsick.”
“So, you’re sick to the stomach of your heart?”
I mean, the day before I was still seeing tin-roofed, dilapidated shacks that people call homes. The day before I was still in the thick of El Salvador and it’s poverty. And I was still there in my heart and mind. But somehow my body was travelling through the Mall of America.
Walking paradox, no?
I keep thinking about objects in space, and how they have to very carefully calculate how the object will reenter the earth’s atmosphere, or else any number of catastrophic ends will result (blowing up, exploding, catching on fire). Perhaps a trip to the Mall of America wasn’t the best reentry strategy.
I’ve already cried a few times today, my emotions just barely below the surface. I feel okay with that, though. If I were just pushing it all down and refusing to let it touch me, that would be unhealthy. My mentor tells me, “Don’t be afraid of tears. Tears are often a sign that the Holy Spirit’s at work.”
So that, for now, is my reentry strategy. Try to let the tears come as they need to. Remember what I saw. And try to avoid the Mall of America.
My El Salvador Posts
- “This Child Deserves to Know Jesus!”
- More Than Just Beautiful Faces, but Beautiful Nonetheless
- A Hero’s Welcome Given by Heroes
- Mothers Becoming Moms: Child Survival Program in Action
- You’ve Been Cordially Invited to Break Your Heart