On the plane ride to Kenya – or maybe it was a stop along the way – Kristen told me why she lived where she did – how she had been placed in suburbia to minister to the community there. How she wasn’t going to leave any time soon.
On a bumpy bus ride across Uganda Sophie laughed at herself (as she does often) for being so upset just before our trip together when her pastor had started saying some pretty radical stuff – talking smack about the American Dream and telling people to go do missiony things.
I recognized myself in them both. Who hasn’t feared, wondered, asked, whined as they boarded that plane for a foreign land…
What if God changes my life? What if nothing is ever the same again?
Fight it all we want but life does get changed by Jesus with brown hands braiding hair, bowls of rice shared, songs sung to a shared God, city dumps where children and vultures search side-by-side for daily bread.
The defense of life as we know it melts while walking the mud streets of a Kenyan slum at midday. Children jumping and running beside us yelling “How are you? How are you? How are you?” Eager to please, showing off the only English they know.
The resistance to change runs off us in the afternoon rains and runs beside the dirt path and darts off between rusted orange and brown homes.
We give up. Hands open. Slowly. And receive a new normal. The grace of change, dependence, challenge, the unknown, discontent, questions, opportunity to love and be loved in new ways in new places.
Kristen still lives in suburbia. So does Sophie. But they live differently. Hearts and minds forever changed in ways only God can take credit for. And what a ride that’s been.
From first world to third and now a foot in both.
What if God changes your life? What if nothing is ever the same again?
This is the third world symphony.