Between Two Worlds

I came home from Guatemala Sunday night, went to bed, and 12 hours later I woke up to attend my first meeting for Support for Early Learning and Families.  I happen to be the Community Collaborator and I help bring community people together who work and care about young children in our city.

My goals for the day were to keep up, catch up, and follow up.  I left one world to come home to another world and my brain spent the day trying to figure out how to switch gears.  How do I do this, God?

I attended meeting after meeting.  My world had suddenly changed from being with children who live in extreme poverty, being with church leaders who are doing tremendous things, being with bloggers who are pouring out their souls to tell stories, to being with people from my community who care about kids.  There were educators, health care workers, mental health professionals, and early childhood professionals, people on the left and people on the right, non-Christians and Christians at these meetings, and each person seeing the world through his or her own lens.

I sat in one meeting and my eyes felt heavy.  I was so tired from my trip, probably more emotionally than physically.  Every trip I go on tears away at my soul.  Every trip requires processing.  My turn-around time for processing was short.  As my eyes started to get heavy and my brain fought to stay tuned, I looked at the people in the room and I thought to myself, what would they be like today if they had seen what I had seen last week? How would they see our city?  How would they act today?  Would they come in with a different view?  Would they be angry?  No telling, but it was worth the contemplation.

So I sat there and thought about these people and thought about the children in my community.

My mind began to wander a little further.  (My boss follows my blog so now the true confession).

We were talking about kids and poverty in my city.  Hunger.  A woman explained some of the statistics of my own city.  Unemployment, job losses and how this affects kids.

I would picture the child in the small slum home, dirt on her face, no shoes.  Could it be as bad as what I had just seen?

Another picture would come to my mind.  The American child who is in the foster care system, or the child who is made fun of at school because her clothing is not very nice.  Then I imagined the family who sees all their American neighbors making it, but they are trying to put food on the table due to lost jobs.  I sat there in this meeting wanting to burst open with emotion…. Inside I was screaming…  “I can’t take it!”

God how do I do this?  I hear the stories of need right in my back yard.  It looks so different than what I just saw in Guatemala.  Our world here is much prettier.  Our system is better, and we have more to offer the family in need.

Does God hear the cry of a mother in Guatemala praying for her next meal more than He hears my prayer of helping my daughter through her play auditions?  Does He hear the child in Africa praying for his dying mother more than He hears the child who lost his mom to prison and will now go into the foster care system?  Does God prioritize these prayer requests?

So how do I navigate in these worlds that seem so far apart?  Next month I will go to a board meeting then to the Ecuadoran Amazon.  I will meet about a community grant then head off to Ethiopia.  I feel a bit schizoid at times trying to bring my worlds together.

I don’t have answers.  I don’t know why I have these two different worlds.

Tonight, I went to youth group with my kids.  The worship team sang this song by David Crowder, and as we sang this chorus, my eyes filled up with tears.  I looked at my sweet Isabel as she closed her eyes and sang with all her heart, and I heard the words clearly.   “For the rescue of us all, that we may live.  For Redemption from the fall, we might live.”

My worlds may seem far apart, but I tonight I realized they are closer than they appear.  This fallen world looks different from place to place, but we still need a Savior.

For the Glory of It All

Lyrics by David Crowder

At the start

He was there, He was there

in the end,

He’ll be there, He’ll be there

And after all our hands have wrought

He forgives

Oh the Glory of it all is:

He came here

for the rescue of us all

that we may live

for the glory of it all

for the glory of it all

All is lost

find Him there, find Him there

after night

dawn is there, dawn is there

After all falls apart

He repairs, He repairs

Oh the Glory of it all is:

He came here

for the rescue of us all

that we may live

for the glory of it all

oh He is here

for redemption from the fall

that we may live

for the glory of it all

oh the glory of it all

the glory of it all

oh the glory of it all

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2 Comments on “Between Two Worlds

  1. For the rescue of us all. US ALL.
    Regardless of our address… we all need rescuing.
    Thank you, Patricia…
    Going through this with you… makes it easier. The pilgrimage together.
    I send so much love…
    Ann

  2. “Does God hear the cry of a mother in Guatemala praying for her next meal more than He hears my prayer of helping my daughter through her play auditions? Does He hear the child in Africa praying for his dying mother more than He hears the child who lost his mom to prison and will now go into the foster care system? Does God prioritize these prayer requests?”

    Yes! Some of us on OurCompassion sponsor site have been wrestling with questions like these about prayer. It’s really tough.

    Rainer Maria Rilke said: “Be patient toward all that is unsolved in your heart and try to love the questions themselves, like locked rooms and like books that are now written in a very foreign tongue. Do not now seek the answers, which cannot be given you because you would not be able to live them. And the point is, to live everything. Live the questions now. Perhaps you will then gradually, without noticing it, live along some distant day into the answer.”

    But I sorta want to throw a shoe at him after I read it.

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