My head was really foggy this morning when I woke up. As sometimes happens here, my bowels were doing something funky, and this morning, instead of trying to ignore it until it went away, I pulled myself into a sitting position, unzipped the bug hut around my bed, swung my legs over the edge of the bed, and felt around for my shoes. It was still dark in the room, although a faint bit of morning light cast a smoky glow over the world outside my door. Still sort of drunk from having just awoken, I wandered across the compound to the latrine on unsteady legs.
“Why am I so tired,” I wondered as I crossed the compound again, returning to my room. Nobody else was moving around yet, although the rooster was crowing incessantly. I wanted to throw a rock at him. A bit of pink tinged the sky to the east, behind some cotton candy clouds bleached white in contrast. I smiled at the sight of it, my heart warmed in the presence of a Father who paints the sky for his little girl.
Back in my bed, I rolled around for a bit, trying to focus my thoughts on Jesus. I drifted off to sleep… only to scold myself for my laziness… only to fall back to sleep. It was nearly eight o’clock before I sat up again.
“You need to get dressed before somebody wanders into the room and you lose your privacy for the day,” I chided myself. I pulled on a purple t-shirt and some khaki capris before climbing back into bed with my Bible and journal. I scrawled a prayer into my journal… mostly asking Jesus to make His presence so real to me… more real than it has been in so long… because I’ve been operating in a lot more of my own strength lately than in His… and that just won’t do… it’s exhausting… and bears no fruit worth eating… yuck.
The door to my room had already opened several times for young men who were charging their cell phones at the electrical outlet. The door would creak open just a crack. A crack big enough for their long arms to reach in to retrieve their cell phones from the desk within reach. The third time the door opened this morning, it was Mama Eudita. She came and crouched near me, with a concerned expression on her face.
“Sorry, Jane. The brother of Patrick has come. You can tell Mama?” She said, as if she was asking a great favor.
“Yeah, of course. No problem.” I said as positively as I could, with the weight of her concern pressing on me as well. She left as quickly as she came, and I found my mind rehearsing all the messages that the brother of Patrick could be bringing. I heard myself whispering a prayer for help for whatever situation we were facing regarding our dear friend with cancer.
The day began there and kept moving nonstop. It was a hard day. Really. Michele was feeling very ill, there were lots of unexpected visitors and impromptu meetings, nothing was working quite according to plan, and I caught myself feeling a bit flustered at several points… leading me to sneak away to grab a moment of silence or a hug from some poor bystander to help me step back and refocus. 😉
What I found amazing about the day, despite the intensity of my emotions and the sense of so many expectations tugging me back and forth, was my awareness of how near God was. It definitely wasn’t a tangible feeling, although I so longed for that. I prayed for several people who were ill or disillusioned and for our motorcycle that decided to break down, but to my dismay, I didn’t see the immediate healings or outward transformation that I asked for. Although I’m not going to waste time and energy trying to figure out why I didn’t see the Kingdom come more tangibly, it would have been so nice! Instead, I’m going to let today fuel my hunger to see a greater revelation of the Kingdom come tomorrow.
Yeah. A difficult day. But He was near. He put songs in me all day long to remind me He was there in the same calm, comforting, and quiet way He revealed His presence to me in the early morning sky. He heard me. He answered my prayer for more awareness of His presence… and I know He’ll be with me tomorrow, again increasing my hunger to know Him in greater measure…