I just recently got back from a missions trip in the Dominican Republic where we had the opportunity to serve in Cure Hospital that specializes in clubfoot treatments. Our team of seven had the opportunity to visit and pray for patients and staff in the hospital, visit one of the patients in their home, play with about 45 kids at a local church school, and visit an orphanage. It was an amazing week that I had eagerly anticipated for months.
Prior to the trip I had asked God to reveal to me how to embrace each moment, how to hold any expectations I had for the trip loosely and to be ready for what He had planned for me. Leading up to the trip, I had heard this phrase and I took it with me as I prepared myself for each interaction I would have with others I would come into contact with. I look at God, I look at you, and I keep looking at God. (Julian of Norwich)
Each morning, I would remind myself to live each moment with that concept, and see God within each encounter I had with others. I wouldn’t say that I did it perfectly, and there were times I held back out of fear or reservation due to the language barrier or my insecurities. But the times I let go of my own fear and lived through God’s eyes, it was beautiful.
And God showed me so much, whether when I was talking to mothers of children in the waiting room, or going with my team floor to floor in the hospital seeking out every individual we could find whether staff or patients and spending a few individual moments praying for them, picking up a crying orphan who melted in my arms content, praying for a strong woman of faith who needed someone at that moment to pour into her, or at the end of the week raising my hands in thanks looking up towards God thanking him for the week.
When we live out our lives with eyes that are ready to see God in each encounter of each person we find before us, and with each opportunity that comes our way, we come alive and truly live. This doesn’t mean we won’t come across difficult times, or difficult conversations, but it does mean that we will be living life seeing what God desires us to see within each individual moment.
My hope is that although I had such an amazing week on a mission’s trip, that it will not be the end of this experience, but that I will live out what I learned while down there, and that I will live.
In the end it won’t matter if you have a few scars, but it will matter if you didn’t LIVE.
Lord, let me live now.
Not in the oughts to have done then
Nor the ifs of what is to come when.
No, Lord, let me live now.
God, may I BE now.
Not in the regrets of my history
No, God may I BE now.
Father, let me live now.
Not in painful memories
Nor in dreamed up hypotheses.
Father, let me live now.
~ Sue Parrott