Reconciling the stories..

lots of ideas stirring around in my head this morning. My heart has been reflective as I enter into my 36th year and look at the days and weeks ahead of me.

 I have listened to some inspiring women on podcasts lately, sharing how their childhoods shaped them- birthing in them a heart for justice, for taking action. As my children play in a parking lot for their yard and miss out on climbing trees with a book in hand or hearing birds, the constant wrestle of what they lack and what I am giving them is ever present in my mind. They are being raised among a desperate need and giving their time, toys, clothes, and hearts to loving, helping, making friends with these ones. Believing the seeds of justice and mercy are being planted in them in real ways.

 Been thinking about what it means to be raised with absolutely no sense of justice. What that does for your neuro pathways, for your development. That your parents are not powerful enough to protect you, the police in your life are threatening at best and horrible at worst. What does a major sense of instability do to the soul of a child as they are being formed.

  I watch the instability and fear erode the very peace and calm of the parents as they try and survive, try and provide the most basic things for their families, their little ones. But the children- they laugh, they run, they play, and kick trash like it is soccer balls, throw rocks and jump over trash heaps or fallen trees.

  " I wish you an unpredictable life" was a graduation speech from an incredibly dynamic woman leader recently. While I embrace and am even stirred by this statement I see my Syrian friends long with all their heart for just a sense of stability.

   Also just watched Crimson and White for the first time. It is a WW1 drama about nurses and doctors on the front lines. I was struck by the intensity, the absolute level of grit and resilience they had to have beaten into them. Just when they felt stressed or exhausted or pushed past what they could deliver...another wave of wounded soldiers are brought in. Had me thinking about the acuity of certain seasons in one's life, of points where we feel pushed beyond what we can bear, and how deep down there are things being deposited, built in us that we can not see.

 The ex- emergency room nurse in me is completely enthralled by the blood, emergency, split second decisions, the risks and stress of life in that setting. While the context I am working in right now is completely different than the context of the show, I find myself drawing any lines of similarities that I see. This past week at our clinic we were the first medical personal to see and treat some new Syrians who had fled. Only arriving 5 days before, their bodies were recovering from their hardship and journey here. I felt that sense of sobriety and focusing on giving kind, soft instructions to these men and women who have been in the midst of horror.


 Vomiting after  everything she eats right now. I asked her how long of a journey her escape was...she said 20 days. I asked her how much she ate in those 20 days. She told me "barely at all, what little we had, we gave to the children among us". I looked her deep in the eyes and told her how brave and kind she is. I also told her that her body is just getting used to eating again, to take it slow.

  In the tent I am sitting in, where women are crowding in, even when we are emphasizing waiting so that we can hear each one I look up and see the pain. I see the fear and need. I see the panic some of the new moms have about babies who have viruses. I see a mother of 4 who have a skin disease that creates large ulcers and how I can see it breaking her heart. I think about how I feel when my daughter's faces are covered in mosquito bites or an injury and wonder how I would handle open, crusting sores on their faces.

   I take a breath and keep going. I share what medical advice, help, hope I can offer to this mama. I continue to see, educate, and help the large number of women and children pouring in, taking my role in this moment in their lives. 


  1. There is a possibility that as a family we may hear you at Emmaus Road on 13th Aug as our church is closed for refurbishment that Sunday morning. Due to looking at the dates who was speaking I found you were and thought I wanted to know who you were. I read this blog and was touched that your kids wouldn't be able to see birds and climb trees. I thought of this group . I don't know how far you are from there but it may be a window for you and the kids. Postcards from the middle east is a book which I haven't read but you may find inspiring. I have had some dealings with A Rocha. They might help you find some green in your world. Our Creator knows we need it. Grace and peace to you in your work. Rob Marshall PS. My parents attend Emmaus Road. I haven't been yet but my family have when I was away.

    1. Thanks so much for reading and taking the time to reply! great thoughts and I will have to check out those resources. I have fallen off the band wagon of blogging, and trying to re-merge slowly. Yes we are always going to green spaces when we can, it's just so different when it is right outside your door! blessings!


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