What Six Years Has Taught Me

November 01, 2012

Six years.
I ask God sometimes, “how do you do it?”

How do you hold each of us in your heart? With equal importance. With so much love.
Doesn’t it hurt?

Don’t you buckle under our sea of faces?
An organization is just made up of people. Faces. Names. Friends. Ones who are loved.

And it is only as strong as it’s relationships.

And just when you think there is not enough space in your heart for one more. One more person. One more story. One more face. One more friend. You fall in love again. 

I cannot say what I’ve done in 6 years. Because I don’t know. I don’t have the statistics. I didn’t keep track. I just have people. Relationships. Faces. Hugs. Hugs I dream about before waking.

My person (s.)

And in the end, that is all we have, really. The one.

I cannot really reach the multitudes. I do not have what it takes to touch the thousands. I just have the one by one’s.

The one I think about before I can sleep. The one I cry for and pray for. The one I believe God for.

It’s the line from one of my favorite books, “We cannot weep for millions, we can only weep by ones.”
And I guess that’s the way Jesus worked anyway.

I met Stella six years ago. 

In the most horrible place on earth. A camp where the only currency is hopelessness. Or what part of you, you can sell. After the rebels, and babies, there wasn’t much left.

I don’t think she had many friends.

And well to be honest, I didn’t either. Just a little American girl who thought she knew how to save the world.

But I saw something in her. Even then. That she was true.

When we lived together in our makeshift home, Stella would teach me how to start a charcoal stove to make chapati, or how to end a fight—with laughter. She taught me how to put a baby to sleep, and how to wash clothes by hand.

Somewhere in the middle of punching the bread loaf down, we became friends.

When someone tells me how fabulous she is, I want to cry. Because I know her faithfulness.

And I know what she’s come from. I know though it’s hard, she will face the new day with joy.

I know the last 6 years will not look like much when people peer into our window.

I know we will seem small. And maybe insignificant when the world so often asks us for numbers.

But I know I will write a story about Stella.

And I will really know her. Not as a story, not as a number, but as one I have loved. 

Because it’s her I am dreaming of tonight.

There is always room for more, if we open ourselves to love.

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