Five days back from the mission trip….stories and pictures are falling out of my hands, my mouth and my dreams. My rugged backpack has been traded in for my beautiful purse. My bandana is back in the drawer and my hair is all in place. I preached a sermon for Ash Wednesday and no one spoke Spanish behind me. Coffee has been distributed. Stories shared. Secrets whispered. Prayers requested.
As I fumble with the calendar and try to get my mind around the beginning of Lent…I keep stopping. And when I stop, I remember. Today our team photographer and tech guy extraordinaire, Howard, posted all of our pictures in an online documentary. It is really fabulous. Who will want to sift through the days? The team, of course. And if any of you are so inclined I am posting the link for you. http://www.baulch.us/vim/ and then click on the 2011 Guatemala mission. They are not glamour shots but they are authentic glimpses into the doors God opened while we were in another land. And that is beautiful.
Pictures and memories…our way of saying, “something important happened in this moment”. Today I’ve been missing a Korean pastor friend of mine, Jinsoon Song. For the past 3 months or so we’ve been meeting every week and sharing life. She is an ordained pastor in Seoul, Korea and has been visiting Vanderbilt as part of her doctoral dissertation work. She left for Korea two days after I left for Guatemala. We said our goodbyes many days ago. I’ve missed her today. We had no pictures to say, “something important happened here” over our many cups of coffee – but by some miracle Jinsoon had her camera on a night we went to a Kurt Elling concert just a few weeks ago.
I don’t think a picture is required to capture every moment. And I would even argue that some of our most treasured memories come from the times when we are so taken by the moment that we dare not bring a camera into view. Still, the face of a friend in a photograph reminds me of the graciousness of God. I am thankful for the blessing of friends.
“Iron sharpens iron, so one friend sharpens another.” (Proverbs 27:17).