Pura Vida

It took one month. If you blink one time it’s over and you’ll be sitting in an airport enjoying the eternal wait before your flight. It took one month and I’m seeing flashes of home. Once again I find myself considering major life decisions like what I’m going to do when I grow up and whether or not I’m going to finally go back to school. In one short month I am once again preparing myself for the dreaded return flight home, albeit this time, changed.

The only thing more cliche than returning to one’s country changed is to have never left, having remained the same. In one month Costa Rica filled me with a refreshment of joy, friendship, and of course Spanish. Suddenly, as I look down the tunnel at my dreaded nowhere hometown, it seems different. Perhaps the change in me and my perspectives has in fact changed everything around me. I am reminded of the power of perception as I consider how frequently I had rebuked the isolated excess that is the American Nightmare. How many times had I identified my “home town” as the hindrance in my life rather than the task at hand?

My former pastor, as well as one of my personal heroes once told me the importance of speaking Spanish in the area I live in. I quickly accepted it as true but failed to act on it. In one month I have become functional (a term I would love to quickly replace with fluent in the near future) in Spanish and the adventure of Home is becoming exposed, perhaps for the first time. Quick are we as Christians to embrace the warm feeling of international ministry to the poor. People like Brangelina and Bono have created a sexy example of reaching out to the world and Chripsters (Christian Hipsters) ran with it, myself included. The idea of speaking a foreign language and the radical culture shock became so attractive abroad that I forgot to genuinely apply it at Home.

Sometimes it takes going away in order to look back and truly see home for what it is. Home and Away are no longer locations, but rather perspectives. I live in the melting pot. An absurd majority of impoverished people in my community are Spanish speakers. Rather than adapt and be useful, I had become a dusty clock, quietly and persistently waiting for the next hour. I will return anew. I will not return to the passive impatience in which I once found security. My prayer is that I, as well as those like me, recover that swagger that can be found so freely abroad and bring it to our door steps.

Published in: on 20/10/2011 at 5:32 am  Leave a Comment  

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