I Am Changed

Sitting outside of an Irish Pub in the southerness of Franklin, TN, I pretend I am back in Boulder. Imagining the bricked-laden streets of The Pearl, seeing the Flatirons hovering over me in their protection - and I long. Taking a day away from the "fundraiser frantic" to peer far into the heart of God and to find a bit of respite. Couples pass by me on the sidewalk holding hands - dads and daughters, newly found loves, and seasoned coupleship. The voices of dogs barking come sporadically, a street sayer plays his music to my left with his audience sitting around him on the pavement - and the sounds of cyclers who have broken out the Harley for the 60 degree day come and go. A playful youth across the street puts down her red purse to jump on the back of her boyfriend. He tucks her up, grabs her purse and they both begin to run.....laughing along the way, passing a old southern gentleman of about 80 who is sporting his Sunday hat and his well-used cain. He walks past them as slow as the young lovers are running. Two worlds passing each other on a sidewalk surrounded by a sunny day - both smiling.

Setting aside some time today to update my blog-journal of my latest trip, I take a moment to think about what this past year has brought me and I am amazed. This time last year I was freshly grieving the loss of my first patient to suicide. I pray it will be my last. Just a few days after her death, i had written a letter to her family stating my desire to start a non-profit in her honor. Never dreaming it would turn out as it has - taking a mind of its own. Since that time one year ago, my heart has been broken at an even deeper level after traveling to four different African countries and spending precious time with the Lord in two others - and I am changed. In more ways than I can even begin to put into words.

This past year has forced me to look into the eyes of Pain, Darkness, Evil, and Raw Hopelessness. Forced to either look away or to refuse to. I refused. The Darkness beckoning me into Sadness - but my God pursuing me with his songs to look past it. Past it - into His eyes. What did I see? Upon first glance? Pure confusion. Unanswered questions. But after settling my stare-off? Hope. I found Hope.

And I am thankful.

Lord, I know not what this next year will bring. Somehow I think it will be a bit mind-blowing. Regardless of it if it is or if it isn't, one think I know is that you will lead. I pledge to be on the back burner and for you to be the Flame. Remind me in those times of fretting that it is not about me at all. You are God and I am Not and everything else is scenery.

For I am forever and always,

Yours, b