“I am responsible for the house I did not build, but in which I live.” -Dorothee Soelle
Yesterday….or today…Not sure which one right now..jet lag.
I met a woman named Beth. We managed to bond over our mutual motion sickness, and In the span of an overnight plane ride, she managed to tell me her life story. Stories of her only son, how she found love, where she lives, and what she wants to do with the time she has on this world. Beth is a sweet and very beautiful woman originally from Chicago, who moved to Canada to be with her husband who has a steady income. Her and her husband met when her son was still a young boy and fell in love. She broke it off when they first met, thinking that it would be best for her to raise her son alone. Well about 16 years later, she is still in love and manages to find him..and, of course, he is still smitten with her. It’s really a hopelessly romantic love story. Anyway, they’ve been happily married for four years, but recently she found out that she has leukemia. This strong woman manages to have such a positive outlook on life, even when the odds have not been in her favor. She builds her life around family, and friends and is determined to find a better job with medical benefits…
This story made me think a little bit about this past week in orientation. How we chip away at this metaphorical “iceberg” to learn about people, and where they come from…We, as a community of God, or “one body”, have a duty to bear one another’s burdens and joys. This is not a trip for me, this is a continuation of my life..a time for me to bear people’s burdens and joys and form a community among God’s people.
This year will not be a cake walk. I will have hard times, and want to go home…but I trust that God is wrapping her loving arms around me, and filling me with learning experiences..We are all responsible for the house that God has built for us. Taking time to listen to people, and build relationships with the most unexpected people is all apart of that journey. Beth’s story told me that you don’t have to be worlds away to make a difference in people’s lives, and build relationships. You never know who will make the smallest changes in your life.