I was driving to church last week, and, my mind half on my upcoming Sunday School lesson, I passed an empty field. I drive past this field and several others like it every day—once on the way to work, once on the way home. Some have cows, some have corn, one has cotton—nothing terribly exciting.
On this particular day, however, my eyes were drawn out to this field, teased away from the road for a brief instant by a stretch of lush, green grass, rolling gently away over a hill to meet the horizon. A line of trees ran alongside the grass, and nestled above it all was a vast blanket of soft grey—rainclouds that didn’t threaten or menace, simply spoke of the promise of rain.
It was just a glimpse, a flash of serenity squeezed between farm equipment and a flashing yellow yield light. But I caught that glimpse and felt something not-quite-an-ache down in the vicinity of my ribcage. My mind was no longer occupied with fifth graders and the last of the Old Testament prophets—that field and those clouds had taken me all the way back to Kenya. I saw grey clouds rolling off the edge of the mountain, resting in the Great Rift Valley below and making it appear as if the man selling blankets by the edge of the cliff was perched at the end of the world. I saw green fields of grass and maize, windswept trees breaking out of the red dirt to climb up the mountains. I saw donkeys plodding down the middle of the road and smiling women carrying baskets of vegetables. I saw children gathered around the flagpole in prayer, and cozy fires where students huddled with blankets and homework. I saw the steam rising off a mug of chai on a cloudy day. I saw warm smiles and laughing faces. I saw my Kenya.
It’s easy to get caught up in the small parts of day-to-day living—Should I do laundry after work tonight? What should I have for lunch? Did I remember to send that email?—especially when July and RVA are so far away. But I caught that glimpse of green and grey, and found myself reminded of my purpose. Reminded of Kenya.
I miss it. I miss the place, I miss the people. I’ve been busy with the small things of life and work lately, but God took that little moment to remind me of where He wants me to be. It brought back into focus the work I still need to do to get there, and reminded me of how grateful I am to everyone who’s helping me do it. Thank you all. Thank you for your help, thank you for your support, and thank you for sticking with me.