Easter Hangover

1979541_10152456112269073_6538251817085679323_nIt’s the worst feeling ever . . . . I have affectionately called it the “Easter Hangover.” Please don’t be offended because I know those words should not go together but . . . the last few weeks have been a tremendous experience in life and the mental, physical, and emotional preparation needed for a trip like this just did not happen. So . . . my watch says it is 12:45pm on Tuesday in North Carolina. My body reminds me that it has now been on an airplane in this seat for 19 hours straight (other than short time to change planes in Amsterdam). And we still have a few hours to go!

Truth time – I did not really want to come. It’s “spring break” and typically it’s a time that the Smiths do something together. While Andrew, Layne, and I are on the trip, Scott is at home. That was a bit sad. Then – some of my “mission trip buddies” were unable to make this trip so that’s a “new” reality. I also really enjoy bathrooms with no running water, just holes in the ground (great opportunity to build the thigh muscles!) And sleeping in the mosquito nets are my favorite thing ever. I think I have a few thousand pages to read for my DMin classes that are in the middle of May and bottom line – I just feel tired.

Isn’t that the most depressing, narcissistic way to start a blog about a trip halfway around the world?

Yes – it is. And I should be ashamed.

So now I will apologize for making it about me.

Because I was reminded just now as I did my lap around the airplane that there are things that happen in these experiences, whether they are in Nebbi, Uganda or Third Creek, Statesville, NC that matter far more than any of those “things” I listed in the top paragraph that cause me to be/feel sad.

As I was waiting in line to brush my “Sweater Covered Teeth” (Yes, they feel like they have sweaters on them), I had the opportunity to see thatLayne had caught the eye of the most beautiful young baby. Her huge brown eyes gleamed and her smile followed Layne no matter what movements she made. Finally Layne realized the young baby was watching her and in just a few seconds there was a “connection” and love that radiated between them.

How can you love someone you do not know who they are? Aren’t you just being overly emotional?

No – I believe we just came through the high holy day of Easter. Where we worship and celebrated the joy of the resurrection. Resurrection being “new life” and “new beginnings.” Resurrections that come from love.

That’s what happens when relationships are built halfway around the world. New resurrections occur. Resurrections of hope. Promise. Opportunity.

Resurrections as children are given new chances at life through child sponsorships with World of God and Acres of Hope. Education, food, housing, and basic health care are just a few things that we are able to be a part of as we explore our continued relationship with Pastor Geoffrey and Acres of Hope in Nebbi, Uganda.

So – maybe it is ok that I feel like I have an “Easter hangover.” It makes me mindful of the joy of Easter and the promise that comes from celebrating the resurrection. It reminds me that God = love = a huge world in which we all have opportunities to share that love. I am hopeful to see how God uses this week to show us what it means to be an Easter people. Thanks be to God.