I had been wrestling with posting something for some time. Within the last week or so several things pushed me in this direction.
So sometimes I feel quite isolated. Some of that comes from within, related to my personality and how I perceive the world. And some not. I am probably not alone in that.
Every time the phone rings, I expect that contact to be initiated because the party on the other end needs something. Which is true...because that is my job, for one, and secondly because sometimes being the guy that reaches out or is outgoing is hard. But of course my view is that it is #1's fault more than #2.
I have felt that way for a while now. It was not until hearing another foreigner at the airport say virtually the same thing, out loud mind you, with a heavy heart and sorrow not anger or frustration, that I realized I was not alone.
Sometimes I have a hard time interacting as well with others, or at least those that I see on a daily basis who struggle with huge issues of money, abuse, lack of education opportunities, healthcare, immigration, crime, corruption...you know, the small stuff. How do I ask the tough questions and then actually listen, and what do I do? What can I do? What should I do? Ooof. Sometimes then that means avoiding asking questions because you know what the answer will be and you do not want to hear it, lest you have to do something with that information.
We have weekly devotionals as a leadership, and that came up from someone else last week. Wait...again, this is not just me, as another out of touch gringo? That was a revelation, and a reminder. A reminder that no matter where you come from...caring can take a lot out of you, even if you don't know what you are going to do after step one of just caring.
Thankfully there was someone else there to remind me that sometimes step one is sometimes where it ends (Not all the time of course!) people just want to be heard, to have a place to get things off their chest where they will be heard without judged, ratted out, or the like. There are times when we are moved to action, but it does not have to feel like that is what we are supposed to do every time...sometimes instead of asking more questions, we just need to listen, to cry, to sympathize, to pray...to care.