A Weekly Journal Chronicling My Life
As It Intersects With The Garbage Dump Community Near La Ceiba, Honduras

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Where I've Been

I'm trying to take stock of my condition, my circumstance but I can't quite get my head around it. I'm not myself, this I know; not physically, not mentally, not spiritually. What I haven't been able to figure out though is if all that is a bad thing.

I got the dengue fever the other week, a funny-accented Cuban doctor confirmed it for me. It was a wild, feverish ride topped off with an alergic reaction that left me blotchy and itching. It's gone now, but it's left me sapped of energy - I want nothing more than to maintain a clean home, a full sink and to sleep as much as possible; those are my 3 daily priorities. It's hard not to feel utterly useless in a situation like that.

Something else changed in me around the same time - I stopped short of going over a precipice, thanks to girlfriend. I won't go into detail, I don't really want to but suffice to say, the current trajectory I was on had me racing headlong towards abject ruin. There's not a bit of exaggertion in that statement. With a word though, girlfriend checked my demise and overnight I became much more quiet and pensive.

I've started thinking about life beyond Honduras. For the first time the other day I began imagining a life back in Central Pa...and I longed for it. Something switched on within me; I wanted to go to a Friday night football game at my old high school, I wanted to see mountains robed in deep hues of red and orange, I wanted to feel the cool, crisp, Autumn air in my face. I missed my family, truly missed them and their involvement in my life, to the point where I became melancholic.

I belong to a Mennonite discussion board on the internet - fancy that. I don't participate much, as most on there tend to be of a more conservative and plainer crowd, I'm usually just content to observe and read. The other day a post came up about Elmo Stoll, at one time the most powerful and well-known Amish bishop in the Old Order Amish world. At the very height of his power and fame he turned his back on the Amish and moved to Tennessee to found an intentional Christian community. It was mildly successful but ultimately failed as a result of his untimely death. Ira Wagler (www.irawagler.com) another ex-Amishman and cousin of Elmo's did a fair job at chronicling the story if you're so inclined. These past few days I've been obsessed with Elmo Stoll and his community - part of me has always longed for Christian community in this way. Before I left for Honduras I used to envision being part of an intentional community in Williamsport. Maybe I'm over-idealizing, in fact I know I am but I can't help but feel that in the early days of Agape Fellowship (my home church) we had something akin to true Christian community. Not everything was held in common but life revolved around the church and the people in it, there was a sense that we were all truly struggling together to live out the life that Jesus had called us to. I miss my old church sometimes.

Standing over my sink today, thinking about Elmo and his failed vision I got a sinking feeling in my stomach. I've missed it here, this was my chance, this was my community to help form and I've missed it. It's become something else entirely, what I'm not exactly sure but intentional Christian community it is not.

I talked to God the other day too - it had been too long. It was good to reconnect, to listen, to talk. I'm reminded more than ever how much I need him in my life if I want to make something of this path that I've chosen, if I don't want to end in total ruin.

Lately I feel like I'm on the cusp of something new and different; the fever and its exhaustion, the word from girlfriend, it's forced me to stop and listen. I still can't get my head around this new situation, but something has changed, that much I know.


Galen and Phyllis Groff said...

Thank you for expressing the deep feelings of your soul. Yes, the need to stay connected with God and His Spirit is the only key to bearing fruit that will last. Strengthen those spiritual muscles MAN of GOD. There is more so much more and you are getting to the secret of how to experience more. Wish we were there to listen more to your heart. Find someone near who will invest time in listening. Go deeper MAN. Love, Phyllis

إيمان ملال said...

I liked your blog so much :D

Good luck