Buckets, Tension, and a Broken World

This is Courtney, the wife, again. My TIA Friday post for this week has turned into a TIA Sunday post. Sometimes I like to mix it up. 

July 17, 2012

We have arrived in Uganda… There are like 5 light bulbs throughout the whole place we are staying. We have to shower out of buckets. The bathroom is outside in a hole in the ground…. This is way out of my comfort zone. There is a gecko on the wall, no running water, barely electricity, and I’m sleeping under a mosquito net.

I went and bought a bucket today. I’ve been saying I might for a few days now and today seemed like a good day to do it. I bought a bucket because I’m starting to forget.

I bought a bucket because I’ve been here before. It’s this place of constant discomfort and tension. It’s a place where choosing to remember hurts more than choosing to forget. It’s this place that I prayed for before we left because I knew I would be here at some point. It’s this place that I asked friends to pray for before we left because I knew being here would hurt. It’s the place that I have prayed with all of my heart that God would not let me walk away from.

I bought a bucket because while I’ve been here before, every other time I’ve chosen to walk away. I’ve chosen to forget because sitting in the tension made my heart hurt even more. I’ve chosen to move on because the injustices of the world become personal and it stings a little when other people choose not to do anything. I’ve chosen to walk away from this place before because I’m so full of emotion that at any given time I want to cry or yell at you and unfortunately neither of those actions is socially acceptable. I’ve chosen to forget because the distractions and the comforts of my daily life make it easy to do just that.

I just finished reading Wrecked by Jeff Goins. It was a strangely comforting read for this place that I find myself in. He writes:

If we are to follow the Jesus who suffered for us and bled for us, we too must suffer. We must hold the dying in our arms. We must shed tears for hungry stomachs, trafficked children, and wandering souls. This is what he wants for us…It’s about living in the tension of a broken world and being content with the journey.

I bought a bucket because I don’t want to forget. I don’t want to forget what discomfort, poverty, or injustice felt like. I know showering out of a bucket is not the answer. It’s not the way to figure out how to live here. But, right now it’s the only way I know how to sit in this tension and just be. I’m still learning how to be content with this journey of living in a broken world. It’s a journey that is ugly and painful but is also beautiful and true. It’s a journey that I pray God will keep me on. It’s also a journey that will involve bucket showers for the time being and I’m perfectly okay with that.

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