Sunday, February 23, 2014

Sacred Stories (and the people behind them)

Sometimes it feels repetitive to write.

It seems silly to tell and retell you that this job can be both devastating and lovely. It seems boring to tell you that "I wish I could tell" you the stories. I really do wish I could tell you what happens every day here. Some days would bore you, others you wouldn't believe. But I always have to leave you wondering because it isn't right, I don't think, to exploit the stories so trustfully given to me. It doesn't seem kind to throw the stories of my students into the wind, even if they do have the potential to inspire or impact. 

The fact is that their stories are their own to tell. More people would probably read this if I wrote them out for you, but what would be my goal in that? To be glorified as a hardworking missionary? Or perhaps it would be so that I could share the burden, so that you could understand the pain that occurs on our own soil. Yes, that would be a more noble reason, but I don't want you to think that these kids are just sad stories and hard days.

You see, even if I told you their stories they would be flat. You wouldn't have the dimensions that make them so beautiful, so filled to the brim with hope. You wouldn't know the history, the circumstances, the looks in their eyes or the quirks of their personalities. They would simply become a story, and perhaps less of a real person, with a real life and real choices.

And perhaps I am wrong and knowing their stories would enliven them to you, but I will stand my ground, at least for now. I will tuck their stories close to my heart, knowing that in your prayers God will fill in the gaps. I will walk alongside these beautiful people and I will trust that you understand. That we will all hold their stories as sacred and special.

But even still, no matter what I feel, I will not cease to write. 

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