Saturday, July 11, 2009

simple things

A little over a week ago I was sitting in my home in Bucks County, drinking coffee in the evening, while watching my dogs chase a Frisbee around my backyard.

Now, I am sitting in an office at 1 AM, in front of a wall of clocks which display the time in various sectors of the world, while noticing the ships gentle sway. Already, the green grass of my backyard seems a long way gone.

I spent the past three days in the northern part of Benin, about three hours away from the Africa Mercy. I was documenting the beautiful ending of four patients who received surgery on the Africa Mercy.

While up north, our team stayed at a beautiful, clean orphanage, which is currently home to about 40 children. I had a little room with blue walls, a small wooden bed dressed with a faded floral sheet (there was no pillow), and a fan that didn't work. One fluorescent light lit up the room, but only after 7pm when the generators went on. There was a small bathroom with a shower head (I was very grateful for this) and I bucket I filled with water to flush the toilet. At night, I left one screened window open and hid underneath a mosquito net.

To the average westerner, this probably doesn't sound beautiful or appealing.

But my window faced the courtyard of the orphanage. Every night I went to bed hearing the voices of the children laughing and singing. Every morning, I awoke to the chattering of enegergetic little voices.

What could be more beautiful?

I read this today and felt it's poignancy,

"Secularism, materialism, and the intrusive presence of things have put out the light in our souls and turned us into a generation of zombies. We cover our deep ignorance with words, but we are ashamed to wonder, we are afraid whisper 'mystery'. "

A.W. Tozer The Knowledge of the Holy

There is something about being here that awakens that sense of mystery and grants my soul the freedom to marvel at the simple things. The laughter of a child. The way the wind feels on your face on hazy evening. The mystery in someones eyes. Things I don't often have time to notice when I'm home.

Amazing things happen when our minds are freed from the clutter of the material and the chatter of the proud. They are given the space to wonder at God and meditate on His Majesty.

There is nothing more beautiful in heaven or earth.

I love having the space to wonder. I love thinking about the mystery.

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