Tricked by hope

As North Africa heats up, people are disappearing from the streets to hide in their houses with drawn shades and fans.

But there are some who cannot hide.

Like the homeless sub-Saharan African man reclining in the shadow of a doorway. The despair in his eyes tore my heart.

Even worse is seeing that same despair in the face of a child. Like today, when I passed a family: a disabled father and a young mother with a toddler strapped to her back. The boy’s face was stricken with hopelessness.

I have so much. And I’m not talking about money. I’m talking about hope. Even in the valley, I can still see the mountain.

But what about them? What do they see beyond the next moment? What would cause them to lift their heads?

Tricked by hope

The child is weeping
because there is nothing,
not even a horizon.

His mother's heart will not hear
because it won't
be tricked by hope.

And every man's disrobed dream
sinks
in the mire of the present.

Life is nothing
and beyond nothing is the dark
that dogs every moment.

Do we hear them?
They're clawing at the gates of hell,
believing there's nothing better.

Refugee

Specially selected Friend,
Can you find a way to live?
To take advantage of every day
and be the first to make a home
inspired by your history?
To dare to dream of beauty?
To save your child- your perfect baby-
and to offer the gift of security?
Can you manage
to live better next year?
And is there a way to forget
this black adventure?

This is a work of appropriation (the art of intentionally altering or borrowing words from a pre-existing source). Pre-existing source: a department store’s Black Friday website page.


Photo by Julie Ricard on Unsplash

Why am I blogging anyway?

My plan was to start a blog when I moved overseas. That way, my family and friends could tune in to my exotic adventures as I trotted the globe. But what am I waiting for? Every day holds an adventure. Sometimes it’s the little things, like talking to an immigrant in their own language. Or sometimes it’s the big things like answering the unsettling question “What should I do with my life?”

My family teases me about how often I ask that question. But is there only one best option? When I was 16, I knew that by 28, I would have the job I loved most in my heart of hearts. Looking back now, I smirk at my idealization of age. I’m 28 and the only clear direction I have is God’s call: “Glorify Me.”

But how? Through the last years, I’ve been down many paths, always with the dream of settling down and being fulfilled… like most people seem to do by my age. But what if “Glorify Me” were not a precise career plan, but a heart attitude?

What if our sense of fulfillment had everything to do with our heart attitude and little to do with our place in life? Wouldn’t we stop working so hard to make our surroundings perfect and learn how to praise no matter where we were? I’m rambling; if I had everything figured out, I wouldn’t feel so vulnerable and imperfect now.

Guess what! God calls the imperfect! Think about it. Did God wait until Abraham was perfect before He called him “to go out to a place that he was to receive as an inheritance”? If he had, Abraham never would have gone out, “not knowing where he was going,” an act of great faith (Heb. 11:8). What about Rebekah? She was called to be the wife of Isaac, but was she perfect? Was David? Esther? The disciples? Paul? Know this: God will not wait until you are perfect to call you. If you’re a perfectionist like me, that sounds catastrophic. We have great plans, but only after we have whittled ourselves away to the pulp of our own perfection. However, the point is not that we be perfect, but that we become a work-in-progress, a living sacrifice.

“I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship.”

(Rom. 12:1)

This is our calling.


Photo by Z on Unsplash