People come into your life, your country, maybe you let them into your heart. It could be that exchange student, a lone seeker from church, or the new couple who moved in next door.
You share moments with them, learn to laugh along our cultural differences. We put ourselves in their shoes, even just for a while, and start to discover our own country through their eyes.
But people leave. Most times we wish they stayed, but you know they were never going to to begin with.
Was it then, merely a cultural exchange? An exploration of other worlds for them, and for us, a peek into their adventure far from home?
It leaves me dissatisfied. I don’t know if things were ever meant to be this way. What does it teach me, apart from strange linguistics and foreign mannerisms?
Of course I’d like to say that I gain a new openness, a fresh understanding on the world I have yet explored. Perhaps I can boast about my global connections, and that I will always have a place to stay when I go travelling. Or how about the fact that I’ve sampled exotic foods they bring to share?
No, for now it leaves me with a pang in my heart, often wishing they had never stepped foot into my life.
Stu says we should have a Kingdom mindset, that we should look forward to the Day we meet again at the start of eternity. And that in relation, this world is so temporal, and our time apart is fleeting.
I do wish I could see it that way. What do I do when I miss them? When I want to call them on a Saturday morning and wake them up for coffee? We console ourselves saying Skype and other new technology lets us stay in pretty much close contact. Are we all kidding ourselves? I don’t know if I’d rather receive letters from them the every odd month, or ‘see’ them on a screen everyday.
I am probably really old-fashioned. But I want to be able to put my hand on their arm when we’re in a laughing fit, or see their nose scrunch up when I’ve just introduced them to durian. Or watch them try to bust a (bad) move on the train.
Well, I suppose you just gotta get used to it hon. Don’t be afraid to let people in.. I guess the best thing to do is enjoy the little we have left together, and at least, break out that jig on the train one more time.
Missing people today… Even those who haven’t left me. But soon will be.
This seems to be a season of passing through. I meet people and as quickly as I come to love them, they leave.
Not because they want to, but because of circumstances. A short stint in my office, in sunny Singapore, or both.
I’m sort of getting used to this - writing cards, throwing farewell parties, shuffling to the airport. And then a hug, a picture, and a promise to not be strangers.
I can be cynical and let waves of sadness wash over me… Or I can see it as TM says: grateful that God let our paths cross at this point, for us to share a moment together.
Indeed then, it was always a matter of perspective. What is my perspective?