This evening my husband saw a link to a documentary about his home state. It was a short film, only 16 minutes. It was about an issue that is not relevant in his hometown or his village. I love videos like that. I hate videos like that.
I spent two years in India wanting to see what God was doing and if I could help. I didn’t feel like I accomplished much. Actually, I am fairly certain that I didn’t accomplish anything. I settled in, learned to use the local transportation, shopped at the corner shop, enjoyed watching Hindi movies with a handful of girls at a Bible Seminary, met my husband, typed and translated a lot of papers that had been handwritten in broken English, and traveled some. I didn’t accomplish anything. I lived my regular sort of life, just somewhere else, a bit more simply.
After returning to the states, I was criticized by some Christians for being a tourist and not an active, paint a church, preach on a street corner missionary. Yet, I totally failed as a tourist too. I questioned myself and God for years. I was so sure that I had been called there. And yet, if I was called, wouldn’t I have accomplished something, made an eternal difference?
I still feel called to go. I still don’t feel called to be an active, paint a church, preach on a street corner missionary. It hurts to hear about children’s ministries in remote, primitive places. It physically hurts. I have almost no interest in stateside style Sunday Schools and Vacation Bible Schools, either here or there. Doing a craft, learning a kid’s version Bible Story, singing a catchy children’s praise song… honestly, it seems so shallow. Please don’t be offended! I am not saying that those things aren’t important. I am saying those things are completely removed from this aching feeling that ties up my heart and puts a knot of longing in my throat.
In my life, I keep circling, trying to figure out precisely what this calling is. Maybe I am just looking for purpose within my own melancholy self. Perhaps I am called to live a quiet mom-life here in Wabash County. I don’t always feel this ache for epic purpose. I don’t always want to travel three days to reach the end of the world, to live the same kind of life I live here, just somewhere vastly different, with an extensive family of in-laws in a communal culture. I don’t always feel hemmed in by modern, western, disposable ways.