I was scrolling through Facebook the other day when I found myself clicking "love" on post after post. In a season largely marked by grief, it was a nice change.
When I clicked it wasn't without thought. It wasn't the kind of "like" given to friends' statuses because they always "like" my posts. It wasn't the kind of click given because of breathtaking photos or witty dialogue.
It was an action driven by a deep love for these people. A deep love for what they're doing, what they're saying, and who they are.
I love that Lauren is following her calling to live in Haiti and serve people there with her nursing skills and passion for Jesus.
I love the actions a female chief in Malawi is taking to break up child marriages and send these young ladies back to school.
I love that my coworker is getting married, and I love the excitement of her friends being asked to be bridesmaids.
I love the life transition and steps forward another friend is taking as she accepts a new job and moves.
I love the reunion Amy is having with her family (and her dog, Simba) after living in Cambodia for almost a year.
I love the way the church in Cambodia is continuing to take food to the local hospital in Kratie and sharing Hope with the patients there.
I love these things because I love these people. I care deeply about what's going on in their lives, and today - today there seems to be so much to celebrate.
My heart is stirred and my soul is moved on a gut level because I know these people. I've been in their lives and walked with them
All of the things above were found on Facebook, but in person so much is happening to celebrate, too!
I love the unexpected visit I had with Sarah last weekend, who was passing through Waco on her way to her parents' house from her home in Amarillo.
I love the way Stephanie with the STARS project at Antioch asked me what part of Cambodia I was in and replied, "Oh yeah, Kratie" and called the Cambodian people "Khmer," just like it's supposed to be pronounced. I love that she's been to Cambodia!
I love the deeper community I've started walking in with friends this week.
I love the talk I had over FaceTime this morning with Jena, who lives in England now.
I am profoundly grateful for these things. They stir my heart and my soul on a gut level. With so much to mourn during reentry, there exists, in a sort of miracle, so much to celebrate.
Culture shock will still be experienced; loss will still be grieved. Yet there is concurrently another culture to celebrate that passes borders and space and time. A culture of community: of walking hand in hand and side by side with other humans, rejoicing in each victory and breakthrough and fulfillment of a calling or dream. In this culture, there is much to celebrate.
There is much to love.