J Walking

J Walking

Good words from Shannon

My new friend Shannon – beautiful blogging brain behind bold, brilliant Rocks In My Dryer made this comment yesterday:

Friends keep saying, “give yourself time,” and I think, “time for WHAT? Time to forget just enough of what I saw so that my old life fits more easily?” I don’t want that. And yet, I do. I’m a mess.

Amen, amen, and amen.

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posted February 27, 2008 at 3:32 pm

Perhaps it is time for all that you saw and experienced to create a new space inside of you, to become an integrated part of you, even to heal (without forgetting)? Sometimes, at least in my own experience, there is nothing I can do with an overwhelming experience except let it sit with me until God brings life and even new direction out of it. But it’s not easy. Peace on you and Shannon both. God bless.

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posted February 27, 2008 at 11:05 pm

Hi David;
Perfectly normal what you’re going through right now.
God bless you. God bless tha people who touched your life in Uganda.
I know what people are saying about time. Not time to ‘get comfortable’. But time to process. It can be traumatic, depending on what you saw. It really sounds like you have some post missionary stress and need to work through it. Just like you’d work through the grieving process after a death. Some people can go to the 3rd world and bounce right back. Others it affects more deeply and it just takes longer to absorb it all.
Just in the off chance that what I learned could help you, I wanted to pass it along. When I came home from Haiti, 3 things that helped me were
1) Service: Mother Theresa’s words – conveyed by her nuns at the Home for Destitute and Dying – “To go home and serve the Poor and in need right where I lived”. She said that was my call. And I did it. I did it in memory of a dying infant I was asked to bathe and feed at an orphanage in Port au Prince. Service helped.
2) Perspective: I realized that I had seen both great joy and great sorrow and that God had intended it that way. “Whatsoever things are good, whatsoever things are lovely, think on these.” I remembered the joy. This gave my memories balance.
3) Community: I tried to keep in contact with the people I shared the trip with. We were able to support each other in the transition back to life in the USA. I wish there were blogs back then to talk about what I’d seen.
Your being a witness has helped many people to see. Keep at it. God guide you.

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posted February 28, 2008 at 12:11 am

Thank you for not being comfortable and for continuing to write about this. Hopefully your discomfort will pass on to others and action will result. I know the more you and the other bloggers write, the more I realize that not taking action against poverty is not an option.

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posted February 28, 2008 at 9:35 am

Here is a promise that we will see someday:
“He will restore the hearts of the fathers to their children and the hearts of the children to their fathers, so that I will not come and smite the land with a curse.”
If men were to commit their life to their children and their wife, so much of the suffering we see in EVERY culture and place on earth, would be so greatly dimished, that the only tears shed for the loss of loved ones, would be from accidents, only a few diseases and old age.
God has set before us all, the choice of life and death. Too many men choose the latter, while the women of this planet (and the children of a man and a woman), suffer because of it.
There is a real solution to end the vast majority of real suffering. But it takes a real man to follow the example of the real women of this planet. The journey can only end in success with a step in the right direction.

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posted March 1, 2008 at 5:22 am

Hello David,
It’s terribly hard to go to a third world country and not be touched by all that one sees. If one has not experienced it for themselves, there is simply no way to justify giving advice on how you should feel, or how long it takes you to process it’s affects. We take so much for granted in this country, so much. The basic needs of humanity which are not being met in 2/3 of the world. I had no words to reply to a woman on the bus with me in Jamaica in 2006 when she said to me “I had no idea how poor this country is” of coarse not…I’m sure she had no intentions of ever leaving her resort to see the real country. This is one of the main problems today, I believe, the “I didn’t know” syndrome. How anyone living in a developed society cannot know the depths of need elsewhere in the world is nothing short of shameful. They don’t know because they choose to turn a blind eye to the need. What hit’s me the hardest is the fact that there are so many who proclaim to be Christians in the world yet, desperate poverty is still so great. These people are not living what Christ taught…to love thy neighbor as thyself & to love God above all else.
As mentioned previously giving locally is something that I have found to be very helpful to me. This may be something that you find comforting as well. Local schools seem to be more & more in need these days. Perhaps you could donate art supplies or something of this nature? There are numerous organizations as I’m sure you’re aware.
Giving to my local food bank & donating used clothing to families in need in my area are two ways that I’ve found that I am able to help.
May God bless you & comfort you my friend.

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