my Africa

sometimes I read other people’s blog and they crack me up, their way of writing is so enjoyable. then I read my own blog and think good grief am I really that intense?! if blogs are people, my favorites are Zooey Deschanel… while mine is like Oprah.

I think I’m more aware of brokenness than most people, or maybe I’m just not afraid to discuss it.

I follow a lot of blogs though, I love seeing the different views and quirks of people living different lives. I follow a number of blogs from friends or friends of friends that are serving in different countries in Africa. bare with me while I say this, and forgive me if this offends anyone, but I used to get so annoyed with people who went to Africa and then thought Africa was the only place in the world that needed help. the only place in the world that mattered. at a very young age I saw third-world living. and I didn’t see it in Africa.

I remember for years I couldn’t stand to listen to friends talk about how all they wanted to do was move to Africa and live among the tribes and love the people. in fact through high school I turned down the opportunity to go to Africa a couple times because I did not want my vision to tunnel on Africa.

when I read the book Kisses From Katie I read a lot of it soaking in all she said about adoption more than about Uganda. but I remember reading about how she would come in contact
with all kinds of diseases. festering wounds and infections… and she would kiss these people with diseases. she would take the festering, open wound hands of children and adults and kiss those hands.

I remember when I read that I stopped and thought, would I honestly do that? I have never been anything close to a germ-a-phobe, but would I kiss people with infectious diseases just because my heart is so full of love?

since moving to Los Angeles I have come to an interesting realization: this is my Africa.

from Rodeo Drive in Beverly Hills to the housing projects South Central, I’m in love.

not only have I found my Africa I have come to believe that everyone has one. that we all have somewhere we belong where fear can’t exist because our love is too strong. somewhere where we will kiss diseased hands, and kiss the cheek of someone who is stoned, homeless, and alone.

everyone’s “Africa” is different. maybe your Africa is literally in Africa, maybe it’s in podunk Fenton, Michigan. or Romania, or NYC, or Honduras, or Detroit… wherever it is, we are never happier, more brave, or more alive than when we are in our Africa.

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