I figured no one would fault me for breaking my weekly blogging goal since I’m a) in Honduras and b) in the middle of nowhere. But the middle of nowhere now has internet. And Lauren sort of made it clear that I have to stick to my commitments. . .
We are in our final day of our retreat to Canchias. The purpose of this trip was to spend some focused time analyzing our work in Honduras, (for more info on what Lauren is doing in Honduras click here) and brainstorming about what we can do to improve. As well as give each other feedback about what we see the other person doing well and what we see as the other person’s weaknesses. The latter was a bit difficult and awkward and yet strangely refreshing.
The second purpose for coming here was to get away from it all and spend hours journaling and reading some recommended books. I had no idea how much my soul needed to be refreshed til yesterday. There’s a big difference between reading a few pages of an encouraging or challenging book after lunch and before returning to those emails that aren’t going to answer themselves and waking up in the morning knowing you have hours and hours to read and process and pray in various beautiful locations.
One of the recommended books is ‘Holy Discontent’ by Bill Hybels. In the first chapter he is talking about Romans 8:20-21 which talks about how one day all things will be redeemed and in fact are already in the process of being restored. But he also says “If you expose yourself to all that’s broken in the world but neglect to view the brokenness from heaven’s perspective (which promises that everything is in the process of being restored) then you’ll get sucked into an impossible, downward spiral of aggravation and anger. Things will seem so bleak that you’ll wind up taking residence inside your firestorm of frustration instead of allowing it to propel you toward positive action.”
There are two Heart to Honduras teams also in Canchias right now, and I’ve gotten to share what it is I’m doing here with some people. I’ve gotten a lot of “Bless your heart”s and “I don’t think I could emotionally handle doing that”s. And I’ve responded with a lot of “It’s hard to walk away from these kids” and “They actually bring a lot of joy amidst the sadness.” But what I’ve realized this week (partially because it was one of the weaknesses Lauren so kindly pointed out yesterday) is that I am angry. I’m angry about what I’ve seen, what I’ve learned and the weight of it all.
But from these last two days I’m starting to feel an encouraging shift. Hybels says that it’s freeing when “your perspective shifts from that which your eyes can see to that which God tells you is true. And it is in this reality that what is enslaved can still be set free, what is broken can still be mended, what is diseased can still be restored, what is hated can still be loved, what is dirty can still be made clean, and what is wrong can still be made right.”
Instead of thinking that I’m hanging out with kids in the trenches of despair, I’m an integral part of the restoration process. Now that is motivating and a catalyst for hope.