Monday, February 25, 2013

Let's Be Intentional

As I am walking back to the bus, a dusty hand grabs mine.  Hel-low.  How ah yoo?  The beautiful brown eyes are smiling more than any mouth could.  These are the only words that my dear friend knows in English.  She has no idea what they are going to say next or how I'm going to respond.  There isn't much to say that we are already expressing on our face.  A smile.  It can go a lot longer way than you think.

This is the second time in my life I have experienced such.  I got my passport when I was sixteen.  This was so I could ride the longest bus ride of my life across a desert and into Mexico.  Grace Baptist Church.  That was our destination.  By the end of the week, I had found a friend in a five year old girl name Abi.  Well, she really have five names that each deserved a snap as she said them but that's neither here nor there.  She didn't know English and I didn't know Spanish yet we formed a bond like no other.  Our favorite phrase?  Tu es loca.  No! tu es loca.    

I stepped off the plane in Lilongwe, Malawi the summer before I turned twenty-one.  Malawi had always been my dream destination since I was nine.  My fourth grade teacher had moved there to work at the African Bible College.  I finally made it and was more than excited to meet new people.  Children.  Children that grabbed your hand just because they wanted to hold it.  Children that call you their banja.  Their life long friend.  

My heart softened as children were so open and intentional.  Intentional.  That's it.  In both of my stories, the children were intentional.  It didn't matter that they had no clue what to say.  English.  Spanish.  Chichewa.  It didn't matter.  They wanted to form a relationship just as much as I did.  Intentional.  That's what I want to be.

And that's how you represent America.

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