“You know you are truly alive when you’re living among lions.” – Karen Blixen
I have been back from Africa for three weeks. The first few days back in the states were very hard and very long. Long because they began before sunrise, my body telling me it’s time to get up and meet the day hours before I should be awake. (thanks jet lag) Hard because the sun would rise and my work day would begin and it was back to normal things, although I was a little different, a little changed. Changed because, I’d seen things, things that couldn’t be unseen. Most of all were the feelings I felt for the things I saw, and the wide-range of emotions that ensued.
And then there was the ‘whole coming back to home thing’ to deal with. I went with a group of people from all over the country, none of who I knew going into the trip, which meant coming back to Birmingham – to my friends, family, colleagues – and telling them about my journey. Although I wasn’t in a place to really talk about what happened. Mainly because Africa opened up my eyes to so much.
Africa took the box I put what I thought Africa would be and slammed it into a million little pieces – all broken, beautiful pieces of something I’d never experienced. What is it about a place so broken, so decayed that can be so beautiful, so overwhelming that you want to experience it over and over again?
I don’t know the answer, but that’s Africa – it does something to you, makes you come alive in ways you never knew you could, and transforms you in a way you could have never done on our own, even if you spent the rest of your life trying.
Praise God for that.