Written Dec. 18, 2013
It was a rainy day. Most people don’t go outside on these days. It was my birthday the day before and so we had left over cake. No playing outside equals sitting inside, munchin’ on cake. Deciding that I had done this long enough, I put on my raincoat and left the house in the late afternoon to walk to the Post Office through the misting rain.
There were very few people out. And no one was out on their porches like usual. As I walked, I heard someone jogging behind me. I turned around to see my friend, Happy! I was so excited to see him and now have someone to walk with. (Side note: I always find it such a gift and joy from God when she has me run into friends of mine along my way). Happy told me that he was going to the church to check on something. I told him I was going to the Post Office, which is quite a distance further, and he kindly expressed his shock at the distance I had decided to travel in the rain (about a 20 minute walk). When we got to his church (it sits on the main road we were walking along) I bid him farewell and started to continue across the street. I heard him say something about accompanying him and I immediately jumped around with a huge smile and skipped to catch up with him to the church. I thought to myself, Duh, Elle. This is what people here do. We see each other along our way, join then, and then continue to venture together. Nothing is more pressing then spending time with friends anyway. So, I walked with him to the church and he walked with me to the Post Office and back.
This happens more often on my way to and from the local grocery store, USave. There are times when I am on my way in and see some friends walking out. We stop and chat and then continue our separate ways…so I think. By the time I exit the store, I see them sitting and waiting for me on the benches outside, ready to walk back with me. I have also been the one exiting the store and met friends just about to go in and they tell me “wait for me, I’m coming.” So then it is my turn to sit on the benches and wait for my companion to journey home with them.
This waiting and journeying has been a blessing to reflect on. I love this accompanying that I get to partake in—as the giver and receiver. But I really love reflecting on the waiting that we do. I have been reading a devotional book for this Advent season called Sacred Space, and for one week I was reading a section called “The Waiting Days.” It starts out by saying “Waiting takes up a large part of our lives. Often we see waiting as ‘nonproductive,’ as a waste of time, and are frustrated.” This is totally how I have seen waiting a lot of the time, as wasteful. In the stories above, I am not sure if these situations would have happened back in the States that I would have waited my friends. The American culture says you can journey with someone, but then when the road splits you continue on so that you get to your destination, no detours necessary. But here it is all about the detours and the friends and sites along the way. It is all about the journey and the waiting. No hurry. Enjoy each moment. Be present where you are. So with that, I encourage you all to journey together. Meet someone along the road and go with them, even if that means that you have to wait. J