Chapter 23, Around the Edges

Chapter 23, Around the Edges

Chapter 23, Around the Edges

The following is Chapter 23, Around the Edges, of our founders book Painfully Honest The Tale of a Recovering Helper. 

“Some days overflow with hope. These days explode with signs of ruins rebuilt and a noisy cacophony of chains falling off our shackled feet. God is everywhere and in every face. 

Other days Grim Perspective comes to hang out for a while.

And all we see are:

  • Children still naked, playing in the dirt

  • People still begging, "give me one dollar"

  • Despair and hunger, terrible accidents, and children still contracting TB and malaria

All over the world, some days are just harder. 

I walked through beautiful Jubilee and struggled to see the beauty. 

I was feeling like a huge failure, and that turned everything gray. 

I glanced toward the once hopeful Garden Project and all I could see was dirt. Lots and lots of brown dirt with garbage blown in and accumulating in piles. The gate was wide open, offering free grazing for every lucky pig and goat. I was bummed entirely. 

How hard we all had worked to get stuff to grow here. How many plants had been planted, how much dirt had we brought in? How much water had been hauled in five-gallon buckets from the pump to this dirt?

And then I heard a tiny whisper of a thought: look closer.

Around the edges.

And so I did. And I realized there were actual trees. 10-12 foot tall trees. Two of them. They are growing just fine. They weren't there before and they are now. 

Around the edges.

Small shoots of Cactus, planted months ago in hope that a natural barrier would be established to protect young plants from scavenging goats, are taking root and spreading up and down.

Around the edges.

An Oleander with a few pink flowers was there. Growing, because I guess the goats somehow knew there were poisonous. Such smart goats. 

They are there.

Around the edges.

Some days are almost overwhelming and it seems like life is so ruthless with us. Can we all not just BE for a few minutes without the depths of human pain, without being aware of our personal desperate failures. On those days would someone please remind me to stop and look closer, around the edges.

Because around the edges, I can see that Christella, who makes the Christella Hope necklace is almost finished building her own sturdy block house with the money she earns by making jewelry. Around the edges, I see that another family has built a private toilet in their small yard to protect their daughters from using a more public place. Around the edges, I see that the school added a library when kind friends came and delivered books and computers and all the things it takes to make that happen. 

How easy it is to miss the important stuff happening on the edges. Oh God, please fix my broken eyes!"

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