It is as though like clockwork that my deepest thoughts seem to invade my mind at 3am. As I lay in bed, staring at the ceiling, wishing it were a warm summer day and for all things like a Honduran summer, a rippling effect of questions came to mind. What brings you joy? How can I answer that, I pondered with bitterness in my heart at the days behind me and those waiting ahead for me. It comes and goes in waves, things we are way too familiar with. Stealing in the night, robbing the brave young solider of his dreams as he lay alone and helpless.
We were empty and at first, so was my reply.
It was in those days that the sun even hide, the dichotomy of all that which makes things hopeful. Was it not enough to watch my patients deteriorate, helplessly holding their hand telling them it will be alright. Did they hear my lie? How often I said it. I didn’t know it was going to be alright, nobody knew. And somehow through it all, the days slipped away before me. I wanted to believe those words, “it will be alright”. Yet, the passion for what I did was ripped right out of me. I bent my back every which way and they said it wasn’t enough. That’s what happens when we place everything into work or temporary things and forget our purpose. Despite how rewarding and sacrificial it appears, we become wanderers, hopelessly searching for the fire that was stolen from within us, only to learn that very thing was not meant to be our fire and never really was.
I grieved for a little while. The flame burnt out within me and I didn’t know what I was searching for. This I can tell you solider, there were days that seemed like joy was distant because somehow along the way, I had lost my way. And from there, the soldier watched the misery of the night and terror of the darkness.
I was trying to find my way. Are you waiting for me? There is beauty beyond the brokenness of our hearts. There’s a reason for season, for this time apart. How badly I want to see the face of the question. Yet you asked me in a time of much darkness and despair, what brings me joy? It was in your summer Honduran eyes the depths of your curiosity surfaced. As I long for the sun on these cloudy days, I try to remember the passion that was once inside my heart. Don’t allow my soul to be jaded to the things that hurt you Lord, I cried.
The song of the waves filled my heart.
But I am the ocean, I do not cower under the storm. I dream about long walks along the beach, watching the sunset disappear as the stars fill the night’s sky and I listen carefully to the waves as they crash by my feet. “I have the very best for you” I heard, it was then that I looked up and saw depth, all things Honduran.
As I came to understand the solider, the flame began to spark. It was never in what I did, though I loved every part of being a nurse. Likewise, it was never in the soldier’s despair, the one hidden away like those blazing summer Honduran eyes. It was in the depth of the soldier’s voice, the songs that I sang. What brings me joy, you ask solider? The words of truth we speak will be a lasting picture of who we are. We’re living it everyday, aren’t we? There’s a reason for this season, for this time apart. We’re changing the world solider with the fire in us, one life at a time. And as I find my way to you, they will no longer be able to steal the night as they did before. The flame keeps growing, for you owe me that walk along the ocean shore. “I have the very best for you” I heard, it was then that I looked up and saw the depths of love before me.
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