I watched the two men at the door.
The small Asian man watched intently as the larger white man inserted the key into the lock, turned it, and opened the door. Neither of them spoke, but when the door opened, the white man pulled it shut, turned the key, and locked it again.
Then, he handed the key to the Asian man and stepped back, motioning to him to give it a try.
The Asian man held the brass key in his hand a moment.
Almost reverently, he pushed it into the lock, turned it, and *click* -- the door opened.
A broad smile spread across his face as he nodded to his American friend.
He had just opened the door to his own home, in the USA.
I looked away, blinking the tears from my eyes.
This is just one of many precious experiences we shared with Meh Reh and his family. Our House Church has sponsored this Burmese refugee family, and we’ve spent the past several days getting to know them, helping them settle into their apartment, and assisting them with their adjustment to American Life.
I’ve tried to imagine what it would be like…to have fled my homeland in the face of civil unrest, lived for years in a refugee camp, and then escaping to another country far away to begin again. I’ve thought about what it would feel like, to carry everything I owned in a couple of grocery sacks, to be unable to understand the language. How would I manage, finding myself in a place that was totally different from what I was accustomed to? Suddenly there are new things to learn, like how to warm food in a microwave, or how to count strange currency, or how to count to ten using words that felt strange in my mouth…or how to lock and unlock a door.
Today has been a strawberry shortcake kind of day.
You know how strawberry shortcake blends several textures and flavors. There’s the spongy softness of the cake, the juicy tartness of the berries, and the soft sweetness of the whipped cream – and they all combine to dance upon the taste buds in a delightful mix.
Well, today has been that kind of day.
You see, I began the day preparing for a lunch shared with friends from “back home.” What a pleasure to share my “new space” with a friend that I cherish very much!
In the mail, I got some information from my former job, with a handwritten note on the outside of the envelope that made me smile – someone remembers me there, with fondness.
Later, David & I visited with our Burmese friends a few moments. They smiled with recognition when they opened the door at our knock. While we don’t share any common language skills, we DO share smiles and laughter.
This evening, I’m sharing my chair with my cat Zeepers, who sits right behind my head and peers over my shoulder to watch me type. The attic fan pulls the night air into the house, making it feel cool and comfortable. And across the room is the guy whose face lights up whenever he sees me enter the room.
Every person should know how good that feels: to be appreciated simply for being yourself.
And as I reflect back on the day, I realize there have been many flavors and textures in this day – and it has all been blessedly sweet. So there – now you see what a “strawberry shortcake” kind of day is all about.
We’re beginning to seriously prepare for our next trip to Ghana. In about a month, we’ll be traveling. It’s time to begin collecting things like mosquito repellant, some gifts for our Ghana family members, a journal & pen, a camera.
This past week, I had the pleasure of re-connecting with Sandi Laufenberg, Bonnie Heathershaw, and April Calnin – three of the ladies who were with me on my very first visit to Ghana. It’s hard to believe that was 8 years ago!
Each time I’m in Ghana, I am invited to share a word with church groups. As I am beginning to prepare for this trip, I’ve been asking God what to talk about. Overwhelmingly, I feel as though I’m to share with the people the salvation that comes through Jesus Christ!
One thought that came to me today – if I was in a boat that capsized, and was floundering in the water, and suddenly I found solid ground, or something to cling to, I’d start yelling for others to come, to hold tight to what I’d found.
It should be the same with Christ – I’ve found something solid to hang on to, something that saves me, something that gives me hope. And I need to let other folks know about Him – so that they might be saved, too!
That’s a terrific “silver lining”!