But last week I got to teach a group of MKs (missionary kids) and help them re-adjust to American culture for their year-long furlough (when their families come back to their 'home' culture and visit family and churches and raise support). Basically, we do a Bible study/lesson and a TCK (third culture kid) activity and then go somewhere in the afternoon, with lots of games in between.
It's less teaching and more hanging out, getting to know them, and having fun together. Madeleine L'Engle talks about giving your ontological self, or sharing your ousia... hehehe that sounds so weird. But what she means (in a nutshell) is you can only offer the essence of who you are. And especially in a situation like last week, it's all about being able to say, "Yeah, me too," or sharing your own cross cultural stories. Just providing a place to share stories with people who want to listen is so important and surprisingly rare.
Getting back to ousia--whatever you say or teach doesn't communicate as clearly as who you are. That's why mentorship is so powerful; we want the other person to rub off on us. Like following a rabbi so closely that the dust from his sandals covers you.
And that's why it hurts so much when a person we admired trips up. Because it wasn't just their teaching or eloquent ideas that bettered us; it was their being themselves.
Their faithfulness and steadfast commitment to purity made us all stronger.
In more cosmic terms, and because I love L'Engle, it adds to the good in the universe (oh what a hippie am I).
And in the words of Elton John, "How wonderful life is now you're in the world." Maybe that's taking it out on a limb, but it's a good song. Had to throw it in somewhere. :)
I love the idea that we're all connected, and anything that reveals that connection irresistibly draws me.
That's why last week was so powerful; I was connected to the global church in a way I'd been deeply missing. When we worshiped every morning and chatted with families during meals, I had the privilege of being directly linked to what God was doing in Vietnam, in Cambodia, in the Philippines... you name it.
And the kids--I just loved hanging out with them. That's the cool thing about TCKs (third culture kids); they don't have a physical home, but they feel at home as they connect with each other. Whether they grew up in deepest darkest Africa or in a crowded Asian city, there's an automatic link between them.
Because we're in between worlds. Like in "The Magician's Nephew", we continually dip in and out of lands. I feel like planes are the equivalent of the strange place with the lakes that they went to before they put on a ring and stepped into England or the creation of Narnia.
I felt like myself. So much so that I didn't notice it until afterwards; during the week I was exhausted and hoping that the lessons and activities went well and if we remembered the granola bars for Red Rocks and all that. But for a few moments, I recognized that I would rather be here with these people doing this than anywhere else doing anything else.
I'm trying to catch more of those moments.
For the past couple of months I've been more aware of those times and thanked God for them--because He is always there in them. They've mostly been at Revival Town, a prayer meeting of New Life on Tuesday nights. In worship.
Well I need to stop because tomorrow's going to be cramful of those moments and I don't want to miss any because I'm sleepy. It's a paradox, I think (well pretty much everything is--safe guess): you are truly yourself and live when you intentionally realize what a blessing people, little things, and GOD is, and also when you aren't paying attention and forget about yourself.
Ok seriously. sleep.