Since I got back from Ethiopia I have been in a funk. Can't really explain it, or express my feelings and thoughts about it, because I don't really understand it all.
Much of it I write off to the burdens and stress of my life right now, which is just a temporarily abnormal amount. It will go away with time.
But one of the issues I know I have been stewing on (I am a crock pot kind of guy) is my reaction to Ethiopia, to Addis Ababa, to Layla and to AHOPE. I still can't put my finger on it and really talk about it, but today I read a post by a family who is adopting from Liberia, and who spent 5 weeks there. Even through my fog of understanding this jumps out as clear as day and shouts TRUTH.
So go to The Isaac's Liberian Journey and check out an honest assessment of what it is like to be an American in Liberia, or Ethiopia for that matter.
Even my trip, which I considered minimalistic - staying at the guest house, eating at local restaurants and Layla, and time spent with the kids just wasn't the real thing. I still felt calloused and hardened and utterly without compassion - so far from what I think it truly means to be a follower of Christ.
I specifically remember sitting in the seat of the van with Marta stopped for traffic as we drove through the city. That is when the beggars would come to the windows, and plead for something. I don't know what they were asking for in Amharic, food, or money I assume, but I do know that as I sat there with my daughter, I wanted more than anything for her to know that the heart of her father was good. I sat there with hundreds of US dollars in my pockets so we could eat, and shop, and take things we don't need home with us - so uncomfortable - wondering what her thoughts of the situation and of me were.
I went to Ethiopia, but I made sure to cushion myself and my daughter from reality there. I really do love the people, but I have no idea what their life is really like. I tease Marta all the time about relinquishing me some minor percentage of Habesha status. She relentlessly shakes her head and says no, I am 100% ferenge. She is right.