The alarm went off at 5:30am. I rolled over in bed with that morning groan, popped on my IPad and did my morning reading to prepare for the day ahead. As I walked out the bedroom door, a small ziploc bag was sitting before me. Confused, I picked it up to see a little Northside friend: a bedbug.
If I was a fifth grader doing a bug project, this might be a great find. However, this is our home so the little monsters are quite unwelcome visitors. My poor housemate who had discovered it was understandably shaken at the discovery, and the early morning hours were soon consumed with an increasingly familiar venture of drying every piece of fabric in sight on high heat and exterminating the bageebies out of everything.
As I walked outside in my pajamas, I encountered one of our neighbors who we have had the delight of watching transform their lives over this last year. It was a story we rejoiced and found hope in every time we needed a reminder of what is possible. With tears in her eyes, she shared that an event that had gone down prior to this life transformation had come up to haunt them and now their lives have turned upside down and they’ve essentially lost everything.
Ah yes, when the bedbugs bite… literally. And all this before 9:00am.
As I hopped in the shower to clean all the loveliness off of me a rush to prepare for my day, I looked towards heaven with that questioning spirit. It had already started off as a day that makes you wonder what you’re really in it all for. Wondering if it counts for everything.
Yet as the water washed away the grime of life, my mind was flooded with little moments from the last 24 hours. Meaningful moments to get at eye level with little girls whose dads are in prison and let them know they are deeply loved. Helping our new Burmese neighbor figure out his GPS to get to a doctors appointment for his baby girl, and the glee in his eyes when this simple yet seemingly impossible task was made possible by a friend. The chance to pray with this hurting friend and neighbor who feels she’s lost everything.
Sometimes surrendering your life isn’t easy. Sometimes opening up and being vulnerable means to you cry other people’s tears. The burdens of a hurting neighborhood and their bedbug infestation or fears become your own. One can try their best to separate and place a guard around their life, but what is to be gained in that place?
“We lift our eyes to You, looking for answers when we have been called to ease the pain” - Hands and Feet, The Brilliance