“Why do you do these things?” Aldonza vehemently exclaimed. Several days earlier this man had entered their little town doing the most peculiar things.
Puzzled, Don Quixote replied, “What things?”
“These ridiculous … the things you do!”
“I hope to add some measure of grace to the world,” he said softly but with a strength she had never encountered before.
“The world’s a dung heap and we are maggots that crawl on it!”
Don Quixote answered with compassion, “My lady knows better in her heart.”
An apathetic comfortable conformity to the society in which one lives is the most subtle form of unconscious slavery. It’s nothing short of a suppression of the truth and of the abundant life.
When people (westerners) think of “the front lines” of battle or hardship, they often picture places that lack physical comfort and development, where wars, crime and terrorism reign and poverty dominates. Places like Syria, Afghanistan, Venezuela, South Sudan and Northern Uganda come to mind. Maybe one pictures the impoverished people living in the slums of Nairobi in Kenya or Rio de Janeiro in Brazil. Truly this is where the wars are being fought, right? Continue reading “The Front Lines” »
Life is amazing. Nothing ever happens the way one imagines it is going to. One realizes that most clearly here; all your philosophic systems crumble. At every turn one finds the unexpected.
– Lieutenant d’Armagnac, The Sheltering Sky by Paul Bowles
One morning we took the tro-tro bus across the city to a preschool for street children that was run by the Catholic Church. The children were homeless, their parents living on the streets of Ghana’s cities. We were asked to paint one of the walls inside the building. I mentioned the idea of making a giant map of the world which was unanimously approved. With a pencil I sketched the continents freehand from my memory, standing on top of a chair to reach the ceiling. At first, the project looked like a nonsensical mess but later it would be honed into a masterpiece. Continue reading “The Grand Portrait” »
“Here I am, where I am supposed to be” – Isak Dinesen (Karen Blixen) ‘Out of Africa.’
The continent turns a person into an action junkie. Adventure becomes like a drug. You may go through withdraw but you’re never fully yourself again until you’re back on the rugged, unknown path of freedom. I don’t know anyone who lives this out quite as well as my friend Rebecca. She lives a life certain of uncertainty with no reservations about serving God and other people in whatever capacity, wherever she’s needed, with no restrictions. When Rebecca heard her Lord say “Follow me” she left everything and went, with reckless abandon. She surrendered and didn’t look back, even when the doubts and struggles and questions came. And in that surrender she found the utmost freedom, something one only gets to bask in for a little while when they’re in Africa. Continue reading “Reckless Abandon” »