Friday, February 21, 2014

Against the Current.

  My feet won't move. They're heavy, feeling like they've been glued to the ground. And for a moment I can feel my heart speed up and panic begin to set in. Everything around me is black and white, with shades of grey. There is no color where I stand. People surround me, and at first they are walking slow, crowding me, they move faster and faster around me. I wave my hands at them and pull at my legs, willing someone or something to help me move, to get me out of here. I try to grab someone's arm, but they don't see me, they don't feel me. I am invisible.
          I look down at my hands, they're tan and I can see the blue in my veins. There is color on my clothes and my shoes, color in my hair, and I can feel short breaths escaping through my open mouth. I don't understand. Everything around me is boring, black and white and shades of grey. And although I can't move I can feel myself being pulled by them. the mass of fast people, consumed by wherever they think they need to be, or whatever technology seems to be in their hands. They don't see me here, standing full in color, in a black and white world. 
        Frustration and anxiety are getting the best of me, I'm becoming impatient standing in this place, I just want everyone to see and feel color the way I do, to leave the shades of grey behind. But they don't want to, they ignore me, or maybe I am really invisible. The thought sinks and floats in my mind and I can feel the current of people begin to pull me their direction, I can feel myself wanting what they have, consistency, distractions, and when I look down at my shoes they are no longer a checker board of color, but are now black and white. My heart is aching to move, to go a different way, to push through these people, so focused on their one direction, and run. 
    I will my feet to move, everything in me pulls them loose from the ground, and the moment I do people are coming at me from all sides. Their walking had become a way to trap me here, they circle me and try to push me further in their direction. They see me now, and I am out of place. But I scream and yell and tell them there is a better way to walk, a better way to go. I squeeze through people. Pushing through the current of bodies to the place I feel I need to be, a place in the opposite direction, a place no one else seems to be going.
    And I can feel the sweat down my back and my breath short from using so much strength. My arms are tired from pushing through people, from grabbing hands and pulling my way through. The crowd seems to thin out and I'm standing in front of a mirror. and as I look at myself, I can see I am a mess, but I also see something else. There are streaks of grey across my arms and my face. I'm scared and I can feel it. But when I turn around and look behind me, there is color. Color covering things, Covering buildings, and streets, and people. And the people are no longer walking in one single direction, but in every which way a person could imagine. There is a person looking at me and he has green eyes, another woman with bright red lipstick. little pieces, with little color, but nonetheless no more black and white with shades of grey. It's black and white with hints of color, shades of grey with brightness.
       I can't help but feel overwhelmed with joy and so much love. That if I would have never pushed against the current, no one would know or see what color is, what color feels like. That I, like them, would have been lost in my own world, caught up in black and white, and boring shades of grey. 
    Now, when I look back toward the mirror there is a door… and I know that I must continue on, although I have so much love for this place now, I know there is much more to do, because I'm not done sharing this color with the world. So I smile at myself and push the door and walk into blackness that will soon be exploding with light. 
     I open my eyes and I am staring at my bedroom's ceiling. My breath is labored and my legs heavy as if I just ran miles. I've been having this dream for months now it seems. And every morning after I wake up from it, I feel this heavy burden of what my life is to be like, and I find myself asking lots of questions and wondering what it all means. 
Constantly I am being told to be who I am meant to be, to be true to myself and everything will work out fine. But "Be what I am meant to be, true to myself" When I really think about it, I have no idea what that even means, but I do know that I'm not happy with how things are right now and how things have been turning out. I have questions. Lots of questions. And the answers that people seem to be giving me just seem to fall flat. Like maybe the people who are giving them don't even believe in what they're saying. What I really want is someone to show me that all of this matters. That there is a much better way to live and to love. To show me that the way of Jesus is better. 
    There has been so much going on in my life lately. Things that have made me happy or frustrated. It seems sometimes I tend to overcommit myself and then get stretched thin. Sometimes it feels as if I'm wasting my life, like I'm in a standstill and I'm not impacting anyone or anything, and those days are the rough ones, the worst ones. And sometimes there are days where I can feel Jesus right next to me, leading me where I need to go. 
   But lately it's been a journey of questions. Right now there are three paths laid out in front of me and I'm constantly trying to figure out which one is the right one. And honestly, I think they all are, I think no matter which way I go God is going to be right there with me. One is Africa, of course, it's a deep seeded desire to return back to a place my heart resides. And not because I think I have the privilege to go, but because I feel like I am who I was made to be when I am there. I can't explain it. The other two are harder to explain, they involve leaving Africa behind, for now, and taking up a life stateside, one involves a lot of waiting and the other understanding. 
    I just want someone to be able to tell me that right now in this standstill, it is not a waste, that even though it seems like I am doing nothing to impact the people around me, to love and show Jesus to the people around me, that in some miraculous way, I am meeting people where they are at, that I am shining the light and sharing HIS love. 
     And maybe it will be like my dream. That when it comes time to move on from this moment, I will look behind and see the pieces of Jesus scattered all over and I will see the pieces that I've left and no doubt there will be pieces of others embedded in my life and my heart. Because I know you can't leave a place and not be affected by it. And I guess my prayer is that in all that I am doing here, even when I feel I am being stretched thin that I am leaving Jesus and showing Jesus and carrying Jesus close to my heart. That I leave HIM behind, but don't forget to take Him with me. 
   That I continue to go against the current, to be true to who I am in HIM, He will lead me the way I'm supposed to go, no matter what path it may be. I choose HIM.

 Going Against the Current,

  HIS and yours,