LEAVING PIECES OF ME
It takes a day to live an experience. It takes 30-60 minutes to write about it. It takes you 3-5 minutes to read about it. It takes you even less time to forget about it. Even I will forget in time. I forget what I read. I forget what i wrote. I forget what I lived. But whether or not I remember, I am shaped. I am impacted. I am transformed.
I would do well to duplicate the dandelion plant. One seed grows in the most difficult of places – even in the cracks of sidewalks – yet when the time is right, it has produced countless seeds. Those seeds grow into new dandelion plants, which produce more seeds, which produce more plants, and the cycle continues. It is much like the saying, “You can count the seeds in an apple, but you cannot count the apples within a seed.” What am I sowing?
Pieces of me. That is all. But those pieces of me, blessed by God Almighty, can grow for the glory of the Kingdom. I have no idea of the impact that I had or can continue to have in Honduras. What comes from chopping down tall grass so that mosquitoes have less vegetation to inhabit at the orphanage? Or how can I tell what it will help that we improved the drainage from their laundry area and bath? Will someone want to do what I do because I shared with them in their classroom? Who is impacted by my testimony at the Bible study? Will the devotions that I shared with the team have any lasting impact? Or what about my day with Alexa (well, the rest of the third graders were there also) and her sister offering me the chance to keep in touch? What happens now that I told some of those in Honduras that I will return, even though I said “Adios” this time?
Trust in The Lord in all your ways and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight. (Proverbs 3:5,6) My understanding is so broken, so limited, so small. Because of the nature of my work with children, I did learn long ago that I will never truly know the impact of my work. I will never know if a particular word of advice was helpful or pivotal for someone who needed direction. Nor will I know what happens because of my failures, my mistakes, and my inadequacy. Thank goodness it’s not my plan. Better yet, thank God.
In one of my earlier posts on Honduras I referenced the book The Grand Weaver by Ravi Zacharias. The book offers a perspective of a life well-lived and one that can look back upon the ways that God took some of the events that seemed to be the least significant and used them in mighty ways. We hear stories like that, like being the person that taught the person that taught the person who taught Billy Graham. How can you know at that point what God will choose to do with your actions, your words, your hands and feet? We cannot, but God does. God does us not ask us to understand, only to trust in all our ways.
I’m getting better at that. Still not great, but better. According to life expectancy predictions, I have reached the approximate half-way point. That sounds like a somber reflection in some ways, but it does not have to be. I am enjoying it. I have started to be able to reflect upon the ways that God has used different experiences to bring me to the point that I am at now. God has used seasons of preparation to place me in this season of preparation for this time of sowing seeds. Whether dandelion or fruit tree, we are meant to bring forth seeds that will multiply life. That was God’s command in the beginning; it is God’s command now.
As part of the way to bless the new mission house where we stayed, we were asked if we could bring down a sheet set and a blanket if possible. I chose to bring and leave a blue jean quilt made by my mother. I have no way of knowing if any of the patches came from jeans that I wore, but if I were to guess – knowing my mother’s resourcefulness – I would say it is pretty lucky. I thought it would be appropriate to leave “pieces of me” in Honduras, because that is exactly what I did. I left hugs, smiles, songs, words of encouragement, lights and – hopefully – Light. In exchange, I was given all of that back and more. That is the beautiful thing about God’s multiplication plan. God never asks for an equal exchange because we could never attain that. Instead, God simply asks that we leave what we have – our pieces, our seeds – and trust the creation of life to Him.
To God be the glory.