Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Making a place

And so,
you may wonder,
why the move...
if the move is so hard?

You can read about the why HERE.

The reasons haven't changed,
along with the aching.

And as we stretch into our new place,
we also look back to the old ones...

A couple weeks before we moved to Portland,
we went back to Romania
for the first time in two and a half years.

My husband (the Planter Guy) is Romanian,
and it is where we met and fell in love and married.

In many ways the timing of our trip was wrong;
our kids are so small,
we were just about to move from one state to another,
everything was in upheaval.

Still, we went.
And one of the best reasons for going
was to be reminded
of why we want to serve Jesus among the most vulnerable.

We were intentional about finding a couple kids that I worked with when we lived in Romania;
twins, a boy and a girl. 
It took a bit of doing, but we tracked them down to the outskirts of town.
We followed a potted, dirt road,
lined with dusty shacks posing as homes.
Not sure which was theirs,
we stopped to ask a man,
without legs,
if he knew them.
He said to keep going.
But we didn't have to go far,
before three kids emerged,
and they called to their sister,
the twin sister,
my favorite.

She'd been across the street visiting an aunt.
Dressed in a flowing red Roma skirt,
she looked the young gypsy* woman,
readying for marriage.
Even at 12.
She kept hugging me and saying: I missed you! 
They were dirty
her hair was matted,
and the twins littlest brother and sister were so tiny; we are guessing malnutrition.

She asked the Planter Guy:
how did you find us?
He said: we went to every house in the city and asked: where is Mihaela?
We all laughed...knowing this silly.

They'd never seen our kids,
I was pregnant with Sophie-girl when we left.
Sophie was sleeping in the car,
and so they walked over to see her
(although I think they were more interested in the car than in her).
And the strong line of difference between them and her crept up my bumpy spine,
just as we'd driven up the potted road to their home.

My girl's life would never be like theirs.
At two, she was already as big as the four year old.
Blonde and light skinned, 
our girl would never bear the weight of the Roma.

We hugged one last time,
and bumped away.
And tears made their way
down my smooth white face,
away from my own blue eyes.

Later the Planter Guy and I talked about what these Roma kids mean to us.
How they are a sort of memorial of why we are choosing to be on staff with WMF again. 
They are like those stones the Israelites would use to build altars that would serve as reminders of what God had done for them. 
And hopefully these kids will be that reminder also for our children.
And for me.

But we also hope that we will be a memorial for them. 
That somehow they would think of us and know that God is good.
Not because we are rich monetarily (at least by their standards), but because just as we sought to find them and see them and love on them, so does our God.

He's knocking on doors.
He's traveling down dusty bumpy roads.
He's asking.
He's ignoring dirt and color and matted hair.
He's stretching out His arms
in those places that are hard to be;
Portland or the back roads of Romania or the potted road to your house,
He's looking for the ones He loves.
He wants to give us a home,
He's making a place for us.
Even here,
the Kingdom of God.

Linking up with Imperfect Prose today.

*I use the word 'gypsy' here in order to paint a picture of how most the world imagines the Roma. However, the word 'gypsy' is not a flattering when in most of the world. In order to be more honoring of this people group, I almost always refer to them as Roma.

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