Friends, I’m so tired. But it’s so good. This week consisted of a lot of big moments right in a row — receiving an old amiga into the ministry center and talking through options as she comes out of a severely abusive domestic violence situation, inviting over 60 women in the red light district into friendship and accompaniment with us, hosting my first open therapeutic support group, guiding our first closed therapeutic group for our SutiSana women together with my friend and our full-time counselor Vivi, and then yesterday taking two buses full of 60 women and children to a local park to celebrate Bolivia’s National Day of the Child. Perhaps some of the best parts of all these different moments were the glimpses of restoration I got to see — a woman leaving feeling that she had options and the ability to keep herself and her family safe, faces lighting up when receiving a simple bag of goodies with our ministry center and phone number on the front, new amigas articulating what practical steps they can take (like breathing intentionally) when in stressful situations, SutiSana women entering the group space quiet and distrustful and leaving laughing, and watching 19 moms connect with their kids over the joy of play.
Perhaps all too often I can get caught up in the weight of this work, the difficulty of true healing processes, and thus trying to take seriously what we do, which is certainly merited. But what if the most healing, therapeutic thing we can do is to hug our child or draw together or laugh? And as our Director, Andrea Baker, reminded me in a moment that I was putting all too much pressure on myself, if all we accomplish at the end of the day is love one person like Jesus would, that’s enough. It’s enough.
I’ll end with an excerpt from a devotional that I shared with my team just the other day, from the perspective of a good Father:
“Love and laugh. Make your world the happier for your being in it. Love and rejoice on the gray days. There are wilderness days for My Disciples as well as Mountains of Transfiguration, but on both it is duty, persistently, faithfully done, that tells. Be gentle with all. Try to see the heart I see, to know the pain and difficulty of the other life, that I know. Try, before you interview anyone, or speak to anyone, to ask Me to act as interpreter between you two. Just live in the spirit of prayer. In speaking to Me, you find soul-rest. Simple tasks, faithfully done and persisted in, bring their own reward, and are mosaics being laid in the pavement of success. Welcome all who come here. I love you.”