Today my heart hurts.
It's not all pain, but the stretch marks from all of the different emotions are probably permanent.
(I'm pretty sure part of it is that it's starting to sink in that I have very little time left. As much as I don't want to think about it, I've had to plan extensively for the next two weeks, so it seems to never be far from my mind. I am sad.)
My heart finds deep joy in the little things: Edison holding my hand for the first time in two years; getting Boris to smile; Marili's laugh; Telmito's smile and little grunt when I walk into the room; Cristofer's questions; Cuca picking me grass; a warm greeting from the man that owns the pizza place in town; lighthearted banter between the staff; the quiet space I have as I walk to and from work; being called "mi hija" by the tias; .
My heart finds a satisfactory pride in the things I am grateful to have accomplished (and hope to accomplish!). My heart is also proud the kids... their talents, their courage, their grace and their victories.
My heart aches for the brokenness that none of us can escape here. Everywhere I look I see the evidence of the brokenness that has caused these kids to need to live at Casa de Fe: poverty, generational sin, greed, selfishness, disregard for life and despair. I also see the consequences of this brokenness manifested in defiant, distrustful, attention-seeking, isolating, or brokenhearted attitudes and mentalities that we often find ourselves running up against.
My heart is enraged at the injustices endured.
My heart is also tremendously hopeful for the ways that Jesus wants to bring deep healing and restoration to the places that have marked these kids' lives with disgrace for far too long.
My heart is grateful that I have the opportunity to build meaningful relationships with the kids and the staff. It has been such a beautiful experience of building a lasting trust with the kids and establishing community and sharing life with the staff.
My heart is burdened by a deep, deep desire for people to know Jesus... for people to know that Jesus desires to heal and restore the parts of their stories that are ugly or dark and broken... for people to know that Jesus is offering them so much more than mere contentment or a casual relationship with the Father.
My heart is also heavily burdened with a deep desire for people to see and understand how the kingdom of God is being established here and how Jesus is inviting them to participate in that.
My heart is starting to get a little bit anxious about all of the things I still need to do.... and about leaving. Especially about leaving.
And yet, the invitation from Jesus has been to remember that, while these are all appropriate emotions, the things he is offering in the middle of that are rest and peace. I am confident that the things God feels in response to what I see and experience here run much deeper than my own understanding or response to them. It's really nice to know that. And so, my heart is very much at peace... not the kind of peace that totally ignores everything crashing around me or pretends that it's okay... but the kind of peace that is just more focused on the thing that's grounding me and keeping me from getting swept away.