When I open my blog, one of the first things I see is my daily stats. My favourite bit is the world map that highlights all the countries from which people look at my blog. Always a good number of Dutchies and then literally people from all over the world, the United States, India, Pakistan or Australia. Since I moved to Uganda, there is always some people from Uganda reading up on and since a couple weeks, someone in Kenya reads my daily blog. Of course, I have no idea who is actually reading what and when. But it makes me curious.
Curiosity tends to make me a little bit impatient though. Because I can’t wait to find out, discover or learn more. Nothing wrong with that, you could say, but still. I sometimes really need to be still. So that’s why I love these evenings in my own home. When I don’t have to do anything for anyone. Where I can just be still and let my thoughts wonder. It’s been an intense week. I’ve worked hard, have been pretty productive and I am also really tired.
And then there are these Friday nights. I picked some fresh spinach and lettuce from the garden. Made myself a simple meal. I read a book. Listened to some music. Texted a friend. And now I am just sitting here. Staring at the soft candle light. Hearing the sounds of the city in the distance, wondering why I buried myself in so much work this week. Thinking back to when I finished my Dutch Camino in a little town called Hasselt. Remembering that last stamp, the cold beer and above all, that one song that played as soon as I stepped across the threshold of that church, my final destination.
It was a Thursday afternoon. Apparently once a month this church is open for an hour and someone plays the beautiful organ. I wasn’t even aware of that monthly concert, I was just pleasantly surprised the church was even open for visitors on a random afternoon during the week. I grew up in a church with an organ. I still love the old hymns and psalms. The melodies, the words, the memories that are so strongly connected to my childhood. My curiosity for what it would be like to do a pilgrimage on my own ended in a moment of Divine stillness. In a church. With people three times my age. Listening to that melody that will always be close to my heart.
Abba Father, let me be,
Your and Yours alone
May my will forever be,
Evermore Your own.
Never let my heart grow cold,
Never let me go.
Abba Father let me be,
Yours and Yours alone
Today I got a text from a darling friend. It was a quote. A picture of a beautiful night with a sky filled with stars. The quote read: “Remember the days you prayed for the things you have now.” Only last night, we had this discussion in my new home group about exactly this: praying boldly. Trusting that God will give generously. I find it hard to live from faith like that. And yet, somewhere it all starts with the right amount of curiosity. A desire to discover, to grow and to learn. To open up your heart to new possibilities. Giving all these thoughts and desires to God and then letting stillness talk over your heart. The only prayer whispers left are “Let me be yours and yours alone.”
And then if you look back later, you’ll indeed see that you have been given generously. I remember exactly. The moment of sitting in that church and praying to God to use the week of walking as a starting point for a new phase in life. In that church, I didn’t know yet that only days later I would write my application letter to ZOA. It would take some time and patience, but here I am. Remembering the days that I prayed for the exact thing that I have now.