Thursday, June 14, 2012

Pictures of Beauty

-       The first graders, gathered at Meg’s feet to listen to a Bible story

-       Janet’s smile, because she smiles so rarely

-       A hot cup of tea and freshly baked bread on the porch

-       The Milky Way during a power outage (almost every evening)

-       The puppy sprawled on a pillow case or a lap

-       Johnny, remorseful after being disobedient, asking for forgiveness with child-like faith that it will be given

-       Forgiveness given freely and willingly

-       Holding my hand to Henry’s, showing him that we are the same even though our skin is different

-       Reading to the kinders in the shade of the mango tree

-       The kids pretending to be various animals on Noah’s Ark

-       Words of prayer filling the pages of my journal

-       Jennifer running into my arms and giggling uncontrollably

-       75 feet of thundering waterfalls covering us in mist, taking our breath away as we plunge into the icy water at the bottom

-       The first graders, splashing each other and us

-       Sandra, who struggles in school, lighting up the room with her grin when she gets an answer right

-       Black bars telling me there is Internet for a few minutes

-       Sunlight reaching through the window and warming my face

-       Theresa reaching her hands towards my face and insisting, “I want to kiss you”

-       A note from a dear loved one, full of encouragement

-       Laughter and antics shared between new friends and old friends

-       Hot showers

-       Cold drinks

-       Sitting on the steps in the courtyard with Henry, teaching him to read

-       My kinders begging me to have school today

-       All of the children dancing and worshiping together during Sunday school

-       The first graders turning the pages of picture books reverently

-       Looks of comprehension and gratitude in the eyes of the nannies as we do our best to answer their hard questions about God and life

-       Michael, much healthier than he was a month ago, learning how to smile at eight weeks old

-       Little Moriah, reaching for my hand and holding tightly as she lisps a request in a language only she understands

-       Dancing like a silly child in an empty storage room by myself

-       A task completed, a chore finished

-       The faces of Eunice, Marita, Mercy, and all of the other little ones when we come out to play

-       Friends who feel like family, gathered around a table, sharing a meal by candlelight

-       Beauty that emerges from pain, death, and loss

-       A good friend pouring through the Bible with me because she wants to know more about Jesus

I am gathering memories, snapshots to hold with me forever. These are not things I want to forget. These are people who will be a part of me for an eternity.

If I have them, then I will always have pieces of beauty.

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