It is difficult to describe what occurs in my heart when I have the privilege of sitting down with friends who have recently returned from their travels. It could be for the weekend or for the year, but something goes crazy in me.
Its like the individual telling the story is still in the country, state, city they are describing to me and they throw a rope to me. I grab hold and the tighter I grasp (the more intentionally I listen), the more quickly I have stepped in to the location they are describing. The food teases my taste buds, the dusty roads fill my nostrils, the accents fill my ears and the peoples stories overwhelm my emotions.
There is a woman in Central African Republic who stands as a beacon of hope amongst a broken people. It would take hours and hours to fly to this nation located in the center of Africa; in the center of war torn nations and evils that I can hardly believe are realities. Yet hope stands in the middle. Amidst the crocodiles and snakes, amidst the banana leaves and waterfalls, amidst the hunger and witchcraft. Hope is there and I want to meet it.
There is a trip that takes you away for multiple months and you do not know what each day holds. But the flavors, colors, architecture, backpackers, missed trains and planes, marketplaces, all that is new awaits you. You are free to discover the next block without appointment or gladly accept the next conversation without a watch. You discover self and God in all the ways one would not expect. I love the lack of routine and desire to experience it again.
I hardly knew that I was gasping for the air that the stories I heard this week provided. Breathing in the sweet dreams of my stories yet to come is life to me, who I am, what I’ve been created to do and I can hardly wait to see what is next.