I arrived home Friday and spent the weekend cocooned with my family, sleeping a lot and letting the stories begin to trickle out.
Loved worshiping with the church at Southwest on Sunday, though the tears flowed as we sang. I'm not entirely sure why, but maybe it was the fact that it was the first time I'd worshiped with these brothers and sisters after so many times of worship with my African spiritual family. And then there was the video.
Not a real video, of course. Just an imagined one playing through my mind. I saw old women carrying their grandbabies on their backs--the young parents dead from AIDS. I saw Chipo and Kuda and Lillian and Sihle--preacher's wives, all of them. I saw faith-filled Pamela balancing a Bible on her head and telling me what God has done in her life. I saw the women's prayer group in Harare, the Sanganai and Chigondo churches meeting under trees, the Christian women at St. Clemence standing by their huts singing us into their fellowship.
I saw orphans playing soccer with rolled plastic bags for a ball, the little boy who carried his small sister because she had a bad cut on her leg. I saw the feeding center at Dorowa, and heard the laughter of the children when they saw their photos on my digital camera. I listened as Precious read Hebrews 12:1-2 from a borrowed Shona Bible.
I saw timber laid across cinder blocks for pews, tattered Shona songbooks, and beautiful ebony faces. I heard the lively Shona song that every congregation seemed to know. I saw Freddie leading worship with the passion of King David. Saw the Sakubva widows--some very young and some very old--collecting their bags of mealy-meal with much rejoicing and thanksgiving. I saw hope and prayer and perseverance and faith and suffering.
I saw all these things, and I felt humbled. Connected. Inspired. Grateful. In awe of our great and loving Father. Thankful for Jesus.
And so the tears dripped from my chin as I wept through a song and a half and Bob put a tender hand on my knee.
Then I found my voice and joined in.