Wednesday, February 22, 2012


Today marks the beginning of the season of Lent, a time of preparation and anticipation. I find it interesting and poignant that both Lent and Advent this year have been times of great preparation and anticipation for me, as I prepared to leave the country in December and am now preparing for work and cultural immersion in Tanzania.

This morning, as I sat in church listening to the readings, I was struck in a new way by those same readings I hear every year at this time.
"When you are fasting, do not put on a gloomy look as the hypocrites do: they go about looking unsightly to let people know they are fasting. In truth I tell you, they have had their reward. But when you fast, put scent on your head and wash your face, so that no one will know you are fasting except your Father who sees all that is done in secret."(Matt 6:16-18)
Most years I sit in church, hungry from eating little all day and thinking about how my hunger in my stomach relates to my hunger for something bigger and better than this life. But today, I was struck by the call to be quiet. To not be "showy".

I got to thinking about this blog, and my Facebook page, and the newsletters that I send home to friends, family, and supporters. And honestly, I became a little embarrassed at how ostentatious I am about the work I'm doing here. To give myself a little credit, there's practical reasons for keeping these methods of communication. I think it's important that we share our work so those at home are more aware of the issues and conditions of people in other places around the world. And, I know that a lot of people just want to know how we're doing and these are easy* ways to communicate. But I have to wonder how much of my writing is to "tout my own greatness."

So, maybe this is a good reminder to me that I need to look at myself a bit less and look at the greater work that's being done, as well as the One responsible for me being here.

*One could read that as "lazy" ways to communicate, I admit.

1 comment:

michellekaiser said...

I would never think that you sharing your experiences is ostentatious. I agree with the points about "not being showy," but you have never come off as someone who is asking to be noticed/thanked for any sacrifices made for your journey. You are doing great work. You and Chris are lovely people. But in no way would I say you are at all full of yourselves!!! :) Love ya, lady. Peace from these parts, Kaiser.