Thursday, May 19, 2005

I Miss Peru

It just hit me this morning. I was driving to work on I-40 with my windows down, listening to the radio while I was locked in traffic, when this smell hit me. I don't know what it was. It didn't smell good, didn't smell bad, just familiar. Then I looked out at the sky. All hazy. Not cloudy, not sunny, but hazy. If I looked in the right direction, I could see a little blue sky peeking out through the haze, but it was mostly a greyish-white smoggy haze that covered the sky. I kept thinking to myself, why is this so familiar? And then I remembered: Peru. The sky looked exactly like it did every day I was in Lima. I never saw the sun, but the dust from the desert rose up to the sky and created this strange haze because it never rains there. And that is why the smell was familiar, too. I, to this day, do not know what the smell in Peru was, but I'll never forget it.

Then another thing hit me: it's May 19th. This is the exact time of year that I'm usually in Lima. Of course, I didn't get to go last year because I was waiting on my transplant, and I couldn't go this year because I've had a transplant, but the two years before that I spent a month each time in Peru working in a medical clinic, holding VBS, and playing, playing, playing with those wonderful, big-brown-eyed, beautiful, innocent children. My heart aches to be there.

It hit me like this a while back, too. When the most recent Amazing Race (yay, Uchena and Joyce!) season started. Their first stop on their trip around the world: Lima. I wanted to cry as I watched all of those teams race around Lima and see for the first time all of the sites that are so familiar to me. I could watch Rick roll his eyes as I sat on the edge of my seat saying things like, "The Square! The President's mansion! St. Augustine's Cathedral! They're in Miraflores, now! Honey, look! I've been there! I want to go back!!!" And, of course, I kept commenting on how nice the natives were being to those rude Americans (uh-hum, Rob and Amber).

It made me feel so good to meet and talk to some of the people that went to Lima last year when they would say things like, "Oh, you're Amanda! I had so many of those kids ask me about you, and I had to keep telling them that I didn't know any Amanda." You mean they missed me??? They, really, really missed me?!?

I don't know how it's possible for a person to leave part of themselves with a people that they hardly know. Two months out of my short, 23 year life is not a lot of time. But it happens. At least, it happened to me. Maybe God created us that way for a reason. Maybe God put that in us so that we would know a small inkling of what He feels. I not only ache for those kids that I met (Jorge, Zuly, Jose, Eduardo, and all of those beautiful little girls from VBS whose names I don't remember) to come to Jesus, but I really do miss them. I think God feels that way about all of us, too. He aches for us to come to know His Son, but even when we do, He wants us to be near Him. Earth isn't His home, but He has still left such a huge part of Himself here, His Spirit.

As I look over this, I'm not so sure that I am communicating well what I feel, but I still hope that maybe this might mean something to someone that reads it.


At 9:21 AM, Blogger Tony Arnold said...

Your blog means a lot to me. It just brings to life the point that you cannot do Kingdom work without developing relationships with those in need. Also, we do this we do leave a part of ourselves, but we too are more than we were. Another paradox of Christ. That is discipleship.


At 2:14 PM, Blogger Amanda said...

Great point, Tony.

I know I have grown so much and learned so much from the people that I am supposed to be ministering to. More often than now, they are the ones doing the ministering.


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