“Bring them with you,” said Rwandan Archbishop Kolini as we huddled in conversation with stragglers left in the building. I took a step backward, the thought hadn’t crossed my mind. Actually, maybe it had but I couldn’t face it. The implications seemed too costly.
I was lamenting about living away from family members, worrying about what I would do with my children while H and I led a mission team to Rwanda for ten days. My kids were only ten and seven at the time, too young to travel that far away.
In the two seconds it took the Archbishop to say those words – bring them with you – many questions affirming why I couldn’t do it floated to my cerebral surface.
How would they handle thirty-six hours of travel and what if they got sick? What if they couldn’t eat the food? Would they take cold showers and sleep under a mosquito net without screens on the windows?
What if they caught some life threatening disease and we didn’t have access to medical attention, or it affected them for the rest of their lives? What if they had to go to the bathroom in a hole in the ground? What about the endless hours sitting on hard benches listening to someone speak in a language they couldn’t understand?
Then one ordinary Sunday morning while sitting in church, I closed my eyes and heard this phrase in my mind: “I didn’t call you to follow me in order to be comfortable and secure. All your reasons for not wanting the children to go with you are about those two things.”
He stepped on my toes, wounded my pride.
And we got their passports ready.
My kids slept for hours on the plane, folded over with their legs hanging down, necks contorted to the side. They never complained once about any of things that worried me. Moreover, they never complained, period, even when Harrison’s Nintendo DS games went missing on our layover in Nairobi.
And which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life? ~ Matthew 6:27
And while we sat on a terrace overlooking Kigali, eating bananas and hard-boiled eggs, the Archbishop stood beside our table and said, “We know people really love us when they bring their children to Rwanda. We rarely see children visit because their parents are too afraid to bring them. So, thank you for loving us.”
Sometimes letting go of comfort and security, it’s the most loving and safe thing you can do.
I have a few blogging friends giving up warm showers, microwaves and time with family to go to Haiti this week. They swallow malaria pills over meals and share their gift of prose so we can better know how to help the Haitian people recover from tragedy. Because letting go of comfort and security, it’s the most loving and safe thing they can do.
Read about Help One Now Haiti Bloggers here. And this post by Dan King at Bible Dude on three reasons why you should follow their journey. This story by Duane Scott at Scribing the Journey is a haunting and honest account about his first night in Haiti.
This is the tenth post in the series 31 Days of Letting Go. You can read the collective here. If you are a writer, I invite you to link up any post you’ve written on the theme of letting go in the comments here on Friday. Subscribe to receive the series in your inbox or feed by adding your address in the side bar under Follow Redemptions Beauty.