My time has come. I have seen others come and others go, but this week is my turn. I leave the Congo tomorrow, drive to Kigali, fly to Niarobi, sit in the airport for hours (yuck!), then another plane to London. The past couple months have been full – full of pain, joy, sadness, frustration, unbelievable sights, memories, and adventures. I find that I can never predict what things will be like and the DRC has proven that to be true as well. Reflecting for a moment, I know that I have learned lots – it has been a challenge at times and in the roles I have been asked to play. I know I have been irritable at times, very tired, and yet at times too, full of joy, optimistic, and happy. There is much more that needs to be done, and things that I look back and wonder why I didn’t address this or that issue or plan that better or put this in place etc. and yet there are things I can find that I glad I did.
At the end of Schlinder’s list, Mr. Schlinder is walking around looking at his ring, his coat, his car, etc and seeing Jews in them – if only I would have sold this or that, I could have saved more Jews. Two things I noticed in that scene – one how a different perspective allows you to see the value of things differently and how easy it is to beat yourself up saying I could’ve/should’ve done more. I am sure that in the coming days, I will wrestle with Schlinder through these and many other questions.
Life in the Congo is not easy, helping to clean up internal issues within a office is not easy – by entering into the pig pen to clean it, one always gets dirty. Yet, I would rather be part of a team cleaning and getting dirty, than standing leaning against the fence telling the pigs to clean it themselves. I find too that God is very much alive, involved in the cleaning, and perhaps s/he might be the dirtiest of all, as s/he works to clean the world – thankfully, god did not decide to lean on the fence. And boy do I need some cleaning!