Monday, October 28, 2013

Musings at 2am

It is 2:00am and I am still awake. I don't know why but I am not the least bit tired. Perhaps it was the afternoon nap or the late night chat with a friend about life and love and the adventures that God dreams up for us when we aren't looking. Whatever it is, I am unable to rest my wandering thoughts so I will embrace them and let them roam until they grow weary.

It has been quite the weekend, so it is a wonder that I haven't collapsed into the warmth of my covers. Last night's adventure included driving a 15 passenger van in heels. I was taking our kids from the Kennel to church "up the hill" and since we work every day at a youth center, I choose Saturday nights to dress nicely. I think I did go a little too far because I kind of looked like I was going to a benefit gala, but hey, I looked good in the White Mountains. So without shame I drove around the rez in my little black dress and my high heels and picked up 15 students, the most we have ever brought with us to church.

Though I slightly dreaded the significant amount of driving time ahead of me (think 4-5 hours of driving for pick-ups) it was a sacrifice worth making so that our students could experience a great time of fellowship and worship. And it proved to be so much fun.

What I discovered in those hours was that the driving time actually amounted to quality time. Those hours became valuable minutes with the kids, and I realized in those moments that I want to soak up as much of that time as I can. Being with them more and more brings a new level of comfort and fun, as we joke around, sing songs loudly, and gain a new level of honesty and openness.

As I spend more time with these students I swear I can see them transforming. I can see God moving in their lives, whether they can recognize it as that or not. And it surprises me sometimes, at how completely open these kids are with their "sins" or wrongdoings. Students we don't even know very well will describe to us how they overdosed on pills or got high with their friends. They will openly admit to being "bad kids," and since I grew up in a culture where secrets seem to be encouraged, their honesty and openness is both refreshing and intriguing.

Their openness is a fine line, for one day they tell you everything and the next they act like they don't know you. It is a balance, as they test you, wondering if you are going to stick around even after you know the bad stuff. But to me, it doesn't matter what tests they throw my way, for I have begun to truly love these kids. I know I am here for a purpose, and though I may grow weary of the driving or the small town, my heart beats with them as they discover a desire for something better out of life. Each small victory becomes a great joy that spurs me onward and makes me look forward to the next day of work.

In fact, what a joy that it doesn't seem much like work at all. It feels more like a privilege to drive these kids around in high heels and tell them they are fantastic. It feels like I won the lottery as I become a sister to these kids who may think I am crazy, but seem to not mind spending time with me and my team.

So yes, I can't sleep, but my heart is full and excited and even a little thrilled at what the future will hold. And if that is why I can't sleep then I will take it, because these are the hours I will remember when I look back. These are the feelings that, I hope, will take hold and make their home in my wandering mind as they settle down deep into my heart. 

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