Today threatened to be a bad day.
I told my friend Jeremy this, and he said, "Because of Daylight Savings Time?" and I heard, "Because of Satan?" and I said, "Yes, I blame Satan."
Anyway, it WAS in part because I forgot about DST, so when my alarm went off and it was still dark outside, I said, "Oh *heck* no," and went back to sleep. When I DID wake up, and turned my coffee machine on, I realized I never put water in it. So I added water. Then I realized I never put coffee in it (ugh, really, Jenny??), so I added coffee. And then the filter folded and coffee grinds poured into the pot. It was one of THOSE mornings. But I said, literally, "YOU WILL NOT GET ME DOWN!" [-->Satan], and after that, my day got much better.
1. Super awesome readings and devotion time. It was a "Third time's a charm," kind of day, where three separate devotions shared the story of Abram/Abraham. This one in particular really spoke to me, talking about what it meant for Abram to leave his father's house, his kindred, and his country--how that was more than just people, places, and things he had to leave behind: it was his identity. It's only 150 words or so. You should read it.
2. It made me think of the refugees who have fled their homes, how they are leaving behind so much more than just their home; they, too, are having to leave behind their identities and create new ones in a foreign land, and often all alone.
3. It made me question my own journeys, and how I'm wiling to answer the call to leave, but am I really leaving behind my old self, or am I just the same self in a different place? Is that the purpose, or am I called to more?
So, today, the most meaningful moment of my day came on the heels of these thoughts, particularly the second one. I had the opportunity to visit one of the Syrian families who has resettled in Rhode Island and spend an afternoon with them.
Summary: my small group (via one of my churches) has partnered with a woman in the congregation who has been volunteering her time at one of the organizations in RI that offers assistance to refugees. We wanted to help her whenever possible, and recently one of the families had a need that we were able to fill. So today, we went to make the delivery, and the hospitality we received in return was so moving. We were welcomed into their home, invited to their table to share their food (despite the fact they already have seven mouths to feed), and were so sincerely kind that I just wanted to wrap them all inside my arms and hug them. The kids especially. Their smiles. Such beautiful spirits, the whole family.
I could write an entire essay on the evening, but as it is the eve before Monday morning, I need to get ready for the week. I just wanted to make sure it was known that it's easy to make rules regarding countries and/or give statistics about groups of people, because numbers do not have faces, but when you look into the eyes of the people whose lives are affected--it changes how you see the world. This is why human interaction--making connections, taking the time to know one another--is so important, not only here, but everywhere.
My charge this week: make someone smile.
ps. The cover photo is from dinner with my friend Jeremy (I thought it would be weird to take pictures at the family's house whom I'd only just met, so I don't have any photos from there to share.) But my other gratitude was catching up with M-dogg and having an amazing dinner at a newly discovered restaurant! Thanks again my friend :)