There is something about empty church parking lots. Late at night. Or very early in the morning. Like tonight. Like now. I just left my 20 year class reunion. Heart so full that I had to pull over, get out my computer and park in this empty church parking lot to type these words. It's rare that I can't put a word to a feeling - I mean I'm a shrink for Pete's sake. But it's happening. Tonight. In an empty church parking lot. With my computer in my lap crushed up against the steering wheel.
I had a lot of worlds collide tonight. In wonderful beautiful colors. You see, I was raised in a small town, on a country road, surrounded by family. Graduated with over 200 of the most down to earth, genuine people you could meet. There's a funny thing about home. It brings security and it brings reality and it brings faith.
Tonight I was filled with more encouragement in 5 hours than in any other 5 hours of my life. Genuine. Heartfelt. Soulful encouragement and appreciation. I would say that I was humbled, but it's just not a strong enough word. Undeserved appreciation taps it a little.
Sometimes you live your life because it's supposed to be lived. Sometimes you do right because it's what you are supposed to do. Sometimes you fight for children because someone has to. You're 38 with no 401k and no means of retirement, but it doesn't matter because you know what DOES matter, and that makes everything ok. I realized tonight that people really care. That this heart cry living inside of me that has drastically altered the past 2 years of my life has deep meaning to other people outside of just my heart - and it, honestly, blows my mind a little. A lot.
Him: "I read your blogs" Me "You do?' Him: "Of course I do. We all do. I think what you're doing is great and there are very few people that would do that. Do you know that?"
"Do you know that?"
The answer: No. I don't. I don't know that at all. But maybe I'm starting to.
The fact that people I used to play chase and catch lightening bugs with have followed God's carved out path through war-torn countries and into the hearts of deeply wounded children doesn't even seem real. But these words ring truer and truer:
"If anything matters, everything matters"
Strange to think something hidden so deeply in my soul could have such meaning to other people. To see them come to life when they become a part of it. To see the team that surrounds this mission and how passion has been given wings to create all that is surrounding us. All that is surrounding those children. I just don't have words for that.
To know that other people really care. Really. Care. Means more than I can say. And gives me hope. Needed. Hope. Thank you, old friends. A heartfelt thank you for reviving my spirit. I am thankful for you.