Two weeks ago I was back in my old town, where I lived between the ages of 8 and 15. I had some time to kill so I drove around my old stomping grounds. “Biking grounds” might be more accurate! I laughed really hard when I saw the hill we used to race down. Really it is barely an incline. Being on those streets amazed me, I remembered all our neighbors. The people I would dog-sit for and the houses where I would go to babysit. Where I would play with my brothers and friends. The empty lot. The park. The pool.
I thought I would always be a small town person.
Two days ago I was caregiving and the lady I work for needed to go into the bank. I pushed her wheelchair through the main doors. The sister of one of my very good friends was smiling and holding the door for us. She is one of the head people at this bank. We chatted and she helped my client with her banking business, all in a friendly, personal way.
I do live in a city now but I love it best when it acts like a small town.
Yesterday I met up with a lady from my church. Her daughter is spending the summer in Italy, where we have a church plant. We are sending teams of people all summer to serve refugees. This lady wanted to get a few things to her daughter, and I was the go-between. I brought them to the airport this morning when I went to send off and pray for some of my friends who left today. “I can’t believe I can hand this to you in a Hy-Vee parking lot, and it will be in my daughter’s hands in Italy in a few days,” she said.
In a few weeks, I’ll be back at the airport, this time with my passport, ready to leave for Italy myself! I don’t know what to expect. But I want to see with my own eyes. So I don’t feel like the refugee crisis is something happening far away, in other towns and cities, that doesn’t matter to me. I can’t bring it closer but I can go there. I can’t turn the whole world into a small town but I still might try. 🙂