Thursday, April 19, 2018

Thankful Thursday - On Pilgrimage

Has it been nearly a month since my last blog?
Where does the time go???????? 
Time flies - whether or not you are having fun.
I confess that I have been having a lot of fun lately. 
I have also been working hard.
But the hard work is paying off.
I am enormously grateful.

Spending time with friends.
A job interview.
A job offer.
(More info on that amazing development will come soon...)
Hope and a future. 
I am enormously grateful. 

And tomorrow, I get to do the thing I love to do most of all - travel. 

I will be going on a trip to Central America.
El Salvador and Guatemala.
To listen to the stories of history and hope.
Pain and triumph.
Joy and despair.
Power and courage.

Thirteen days. Flying. Riding buses. In vans. Walking.
Talking some.
Listening a whole lot more. 
Crying a lot. I'm sure there will be many tears. 
How can there not be many tears? 

My beloved Spain sent emissaries and priests, soldiers and business people to conquer the people and the land of the Americas five hundred years ago. Repression, slavery, brutality ensued. The United States was often, mostly, on the wrong side of history in deciding which side of internal conflicts to support with weapons and training. We supported the wealthy and powerful, the oligarchs and the military - against the people who were seeking a way to feed themselves and own the land they were obligated to work. What a concept! That those who actually did the backbreaking labor should have a voice in where they lived and worked and how much they were paid. We armed the dictators and the military juntas - and turned a blind eye on the horrors perpetrated against the people of those nations. We claimed to be afraid of communism, but apparently had no fear of militarism gone rogue. Hundreds of thousands of people "were disappeared" - they didn't disappear; they were made to disappear. Tortured. Murdered.  Lost. Forever. Bodies left on the street. Buried in mass graves. Thrown into wells. So much pain. So much sorrow. So much suffering.

And we are going, ten of us, to learn more of their experience first hand.
To hear how they have overcome. how they are overcoming. how they will overcome.
To hear about our own country's involvement, ignorance, and ongoing interference. 

It won't be an easy trip. It won't be a fun trip. 
But it will be good. 
I am enormously grateful for the opportunity to go.
I am grateful for the ability to put my Spanish to good use there. 
I am grateful, in advance, for all that I will learn and experience there. 

As I prepare for and ponder this journey, I am reminded of one of my favorite moments in 
Susan Pevensey, one of the children who discovered Narnia, wonders about Aslan, 
the great lion - that represents God.
Her question - "Is he quite safe? I shall feel rather nervous about meeting a lion."
The answer - "Safe? Who said anything about safe? 'Course he isn't safe. But he is good."

As I prepare for and ponder this journey, I have been asked and I have asked, "Is it safe?"
Answer: 'Course it isn't safe. Who said anything about safe? 
But is that what this life is supposed to be - safe? 
Am I supposed to do everything within my power to make sure I am always safe? 
Is it even within my power to stay safe? No. 
Life isn't safe.
As far as I know, life, all of life, ends in death.
Not safe, but good. It is good to be here. It is good to be alive.
I am enormously grateful. 

And if I'm living life to the fullest, it's not going to be safe. 
But it is good.
Travel is good.
Learning is good. 
Putting my studies and learning in context is good. 
Not safe, but good. 

Keep me (and the other nine people going on this trip) in your thoughts and prayers.
Light candles for us.
Burn incense for us. 
Pray for us. 
Remember us. 
I thank you in advance.

I am excited.
I am hopeful.
I am joyful.
I am grateful.

I leave early tomorrow morning and return on Thursday, May 3, at midnight. 
Another thankful Thursday. 
Thirteen days.
On pilgrimage.
Going deeper. Deeper still. 

Thank you.
Thanks be to God. 

1 comment:

Tricia said...

Prayers for safe travels for all.