Gotta Get It Out!

There is a frustration that builds in a volunteer in Africa. Sometimes it just has to come out.

It may not be the rational response; it may not indicate time for a change but it is raw emotion – so here it is.

Gotta Get it Out!

By Nobody who is Somebody like Anybody else and who happens to be from USA.

I need to write but don’t know the beginning. Maybe there is no beginning or maybe the beginning is too far away.
Why am I here? The simple answer, Because God told me to and until He tells me differently, I stay. But have I already overstayed? Am I too cold and hurt and jaded to stay?

Four thousand Kenya Shillings, 4,000/=, to do the job you are paid to do. ” Madam, it is your skin color”. To be a member of the race that caused hurt and pain to many; the race that held the power for so long, carries with it a discrimination of its own. Deep hurts long carried and ingrained in culture.

I am bringing food to YOUR orphans, yet you cannot provide a vehicle, security, or accommodation, three things that cost you very little in terms of funds. I did not colonize you- no one living today did. I did not take your land or water or cows and goats. You hold your hand out to me but it is your own people who enslave you – stealing money from you and squandering it on themselves while I carry food to your orphans. It is my pleasure. No one told me to – no one even asked me to. So why should I have expectations? So why does it bother me that you do not help? Why does it hurt so much?

Does hurting me because of my skin color make up for the centuries of hurt by others? Can we not join hands to make a difference? Why is the only time the hand is out is to obtain personal gain?

My passionate hurt of last night is spent. One more cut to the human heart. One more peek into the heart of others.
It is good to see into the heart and soul of others; to be vulnerable enough for them to see mine. How else will we overcome the collective hurts to heal the cavernous scars of history? – To rise above – The other option is to retain the pain, to harden to the call of God who seeks us to love one another and move beyond to even love our enemies.

The trigger of anger. “Where there is anger look for the hurt”. Where I read that I don’t remember but it sank deep into my soul. As the anger rises and bubbles out, I seek the hurt.

Am I obligated to give to you? Is there never to be a partnership or a gratitude to those who gave, those who have never been here, those who do not know you but still give so you might have. A partnership, not servitude meant to lift one above another but sincerity, a genuine appreciation of effort. Will color always be a barrier? Is trust an impossibility?

Should I go home and give up? Even some of the boys to whom I have poured my energy here have no heart for giving back.
There it is, the point of hurt. I knew I found it when the tears fell. It is not a thank you I seek. It is the creation of hearts to carry on. The hope of nurturing hearts that love that are tender to suffering, that respond to the loving image of God within them and not the cursed greed and selfishness of the fallen man. In that, I have failed.

My energies as useless as used tissue paper; simply useless to create change, useless to touch hearts, useless to join hands. My life wasted according to me.

My heart fights the hardness and mistrust with every handshake. My heart fights the emotional distance that comes when my mind seeks motives. The anger that rises when the hand is out to be filled with money as if that is the only thing God created me for. It is not a hand of fellowship but a hand of entitlement; occasionally a hand of hope but usually one of demand.

According to me, at times I have rejected and neglected my own family for people with no gratitude, no desire but to fill their own selfish wishes with an attitude of entitlement. To find the sincere is as seeking the rare blue butterfly. And yet, THEY ARE THERE – Those who care, who give, who create and give love – THEY ARE THERE. I have met them. I have hired them. The one coin lost is sought and found.

If my life in Africa is to touch just ONE; if the entire purpose of my life, my effort, my calling is to never be seen by me, – Am I content to do my job?

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