5 Minutes of my Day/Night: Bugs and Belugas
“Eww! Betani, I don’t eat bugs!”
“Bugs are nutritious!”
“No, they are dirty and can make you sick!”
“I would eat an ant, because it’s so small I wouldn’t even taste it!”
It’s late at night and the team is settling into bed, Edison is asleep in his room and Eric is with him working on ministry details for the next day. It’s our first week of the summer and we are having such a great week so far. I’m so excited to be back here at Josue’s, the kids have grown since I’ve been here last, their English has improved as well. Little did I know, so has my Creole.
I’m laying on the concrete sidewalk with the kids all over me, all 5 of us are one huge pile. We made it our goal to count every star in the sky tonight. It is pitch black – the city power is out. And we couldn’t be happier.
It’s been so long since I’ve had a chance to do this... I think to myself.
To be here with these kids, talking about life and doing absolutely nothing.
They are cracking me up with their answers to my crazy and random questions. Oh great, now Jenny and Andy are arguing about putting bugs in each others food. They are going to get married someday, you can quote me on it.
“Sit down you two and listen.” I say to them.
“Now this is a serious question… if you had to be one animal for the rest of your life – what animal would you be?”
“What? I don’t know!”
“A dog, oh yeah.”
“A bird so I can fly and poop on your head!”
“I would want to be a beluga whale.” I say.
“What’s a whale?”
“What is a be-lu-ga?”
They exaggerate the syllables, holding the strange sounds of the word on their tongues.
Hmm, I haven’t thought about how they’ve never seen a beluga. I pull out my phone, remembering my last trip to the aquarium, but it’s too bad, I deleted those videos from my phone to make room for new ones.
So instead I begin to explain the concept of an aquarium… and then the concept of a whale… and then the scale of a whale.
“It’s bigger than a mission team bus! Even some whales are bigger than 2 Mac Trucks stacked end to end!”
“But does it eat you?”
“No, it doesn’t like to eat humans. Just plants and other small fish.”
“Were you scaaared Andy?”
“I wasn’t scared!”
And then all I know is we are laying here, and Jenny is braiding my hair and the puppies are sniffing my feet and we are talking about funny things and more serious things (like where God’s house is in the sky) and we are dancing and laughing… I can’t help but cry. As the little ones notice my tears, they are worried I am upset.
How do I begin to tell them how I feel?
So I just say “happy tears, they are happy tears.”
“Oh, okay – do you want me to give you a hug?” one asks.
“Yes, that would be the best.”
And they may never know the true reason why I am crying tonight. Why my tears pool in my eyes and create rivers on my cheeks.
Because of their beauty. Their minds, their imaginations, their life that is fully surrounding me, lifting me up and breathing renewal into my soul.
Because of their malleable minds. Their world is something so vast, so broad, so big.
There is so much left to discover. So much left to learn.
They have no worries in this moment – they are fully soaking up the present. They aren’t caught up in what tomorrow may hold, they just want to lay here and laugh and joke and be together.
And for a moment, I get a glimpse of Christ in them. Their smiles are like secret love letters between He and I. He sends me those often and I do my best to catch each one.
I see His heart for me and His desire for me to open my eyes to my world daily, to find Him in the small details.
I see how He created in us this desire to learn. To explore, to adventure.
To lay under the stars and try to count them.
To look up at the night sky and wonder where exactly He resides.
To rest in the fact that He’s all around us.
To ask silly questions and laugh at one another.
To cry tears of beauty, tears of joy at the work of His hand.
Thanks Father for this moment.
And just in case you were wondering, I really would choose to be a beluga, those things are like the gymnasts of the sea!
5 Minutes of My Day is a series of the more intimate moments in our ministry. Launching off of something Eric said to me one day: “When you are overwhelmed or stressed and Satan is on you, focus on the little things. The small moments that make you remember why you live this life. Why you love this ministry.” So here it is, the good the bad and the ugly. Snapshots of 5ish minutes of my day.