Over the past few weeks this quote keeps coming back to my memory. I have found myself thinking about it for hours on end, letting it soak into the parts of my soul that feel anxious or nervous. The parts of myself that cling to (supposed) safety and a clear plan for our lives.
“The place God calls you to is the place where your deep gladness and the world’s deep hunger meet.” – Frederick Buechner
In the past few months since we announced that we are moving to Nicaragua I have had the opportunity to explain (multiple times) why we would move our lives to a foreign country, where we don’t speak the language or know the neighborhoods, when there are so many needy people right here in Eugene. This is subject I approach gently, because frankly, people seem to get offended at my answers sometimes. (I am sometimes a little abrupt. I’m working on it.) But generally, when the question comes up, I explain it something like this:
“I love Nicaragua. My husband and I LOVE being there. From the crazy driving to the tropical thunder and lightning storms to the beautiful people we have met there. We love it. We think about it on an HOURLY basis. And have ever since we visited there. And we want to move there. So we’re going to go and help the people there, and trust that our friends who LOVE Eugene and Oregon and being in the United States will have just as much opportunity to love and serve the needy here.”
We have friends who do not have passports, have no desire to board a plane and go to a foreign country, BUT they feel a distinct pull in their hearts and minds to the needy here in Oregon. Here in Eugene. Whether that looks like volunteering at the mission, continually opening their home up to youth, or fostering kids, they are living out the gospel here in Eugene. And that is maybe the most beautiful thing I’ve ever realized: that no matter where we are located geographically we are each called to serve others. And because each person is different, our service isn’t going to look the same, but that is the point.
So no matter where you are, in the world, go to the place where the world’s deep hunger and your deep gladness meet. And then go all in.