This is the World God Created
God likes to send us strange places, and teach us lessons we’d never learn in our comfort zone. This is happening to me right now, because with my every breath He comes deeper into my heart–and I’m not home.
I arrived in Peru for the sixth time on March 22, a visit that won’t end until June. The weeks leading up to the flight were agonizing as I thought about the time I was going to spend away from home, the things I was going to miss, and how I was going to pack everything. It was especially hard to think of leaving my dad for so long. I know that when God opens a door, you’re supposed to follow, even if it’s hard to see how a certain path will benefit you; I knew it just as well during those weeks, but continued to feel reluctant.
Since arriving I’ve felt Him draw me nearer. I don’t know if it’s the change of scenery, or all the old churches you pass on the street. Maybe it’s because somehow I find myself with more time to sit down and reflect on things of the other world. I have been learning basic prayers in Spanish, which—while I do speak it—requires more concentration for me to read. It really feels like He swept me out of Boise, where circumstances distracted me from His presence, and dropped me back into the place I’ve been so many times. Not only that, but He’s given me new eyes to see what I missed as recently as last year.
Seeing different people, a new culture, and even the ocean opened my heart to let Him farther in than before. I brought tons of journals and they’re getting full. This extra time for reflection helps me spend more time with the Holy Spirit, and I gain more from reading The Bible. I can go to Mass more often. Also, there’s something awesome in that almost all the cars have Rosaries hanging off their mirrors.
Three days into our arrival, we went to visit a very poor town because we wanted to see the museum. The roads were of dirt and there were no cars. Stray dogs hid behind buildings and there wasn’t a tree in sight. The whole place was badly-tended, and the museum was basically a garage with old artifacts behind some glass. Walking a little farther down that street, though, we came across the local church. It’s the oldest church on the Peruvian coast, and it’s called Nuestra Senora de la Asuncion de Chilca. It was completed around 1780.
This church was beautiful. It had sprawling gardens, a water fountain, and hope. You could tell this little town takes pride in the old church, and they look after it with great care. On the door was a sign that said, “Remember this is the house of the Lord.”
Now, as I gaze out the window at a red sunset over the ocean, I realize that message applies to the whole world! I do not live anywhere. The world was made for everyone, God might arrange meeting-places far away. Leaving might be scary but it will be worth it: The sights, the sounds, the smells remind you that it’s the world God created. For Him there are no limitations to where He speaks. Why should there be for us?