When I decided to dedicate one year to serving with those facing injustice, I had…
I cry a lot more than I used to. Maybe the humidity down south causes me to have a surplus of water in my tear ducts and they can’t help but leak. (It’s a good thing I wasn’t a biology major).
I cried on my birthday when my coworkers of just 2 weeks surprised me with a card signed by each person and not just one, but two flavors of cake and ice cream, because they didn’t quite know my preference.
I cried when one of Ms. Linda’s senior citizens passed away and she truly recognized the finality of death. Ms. Linda is 69 and has lost many loved ones before (including her husband). The finality of death hit her heart this time though. Here the day before, sitting right next to her watching the news, and gone the next. That’s it. Never to watch another newscast together.
I cried when Trinity, one of the preschoolers, was so overcome with joy upon seeing me after a long weekend that she jumped out of her seat, slapped her hand down on the table and yelled: “good morning, Ms. Sara”. Of course, spilling her cereal in the process. I had done nothing special to deserve this kind of grand greeting – pure joy and excitement. It was just for my being, as I am. Lesson learned: we should all greet one another like a lifelong friend we haven’t seen in years. It feels good.
I cried when a client was finally approved for food stamps and could buy her 9-year-old son a cake for his birthday. A cake. So simple. (Please note this is the second time I’ve cried when a cake was involved.)
I cried when a friend from school sent me a letter describing how she’s grown on the Bluff and all the things she is learning her sophomore year. I think the tears this time were partly because I miss the University of Portland, partly because I recognize myself in what she shared, and partly in gratitude for my friend letting me walk with her on her journey.
I cried when my 1.5-year-old niece, Mara, answered my FaceTime call with the words “who’s that?” upon seeing my face. I’ve only been gone for 3 months.
I cried listening to a barefoot man with a banjo sing to his dog on River Street because he sounded so beautiful and he treated his dog with such compassion.
I don’t know what it is, but my eyeballs sure have been leaking a lot.
I’m learning that stepping outside my comfort zone has resulted in being a little less in control of my emotions. I am more susceptible to my feelings overwhelming me. It is good in a way – realizing how wonderful and pained and beautiful and struggling our world is. I am grateful to know God speaks to us through tears, and that my eyes are helping me to take notice of the wonder in the world around me.
But, for now, I say we blame the humidity.
Sara Ghyselinck: Savannah, Georgia