All Who Wander Are Not Lost
“All Who Wander Are Not Lost”
It was Easter morning in Kenya and we were in a bus making our way from Kisumu to Kijabe. All along the road we saw groups of people walking and running to church. Some congregations were simply meeting in open fields gathered around a large cross planted in the ground as a sign of the place to worship.
Every Sunday – every day – is colorful in Africa but that day was especially so. Robes, headdresses, suits and ties were brilliant everywhere and on everyone. Had we not been so far from home on Easter morning it would have been perfect. But we were not really a part of it. We were driving through all of it on a bus and everyone was quiet and preoccupied with the beauty of the people the hills, the road, and the morning itself.
All morning I had been considering what a friend had described as “losing the plot line of his life.” That might have described what I was feeling as we bounced along between mountains and streams. It was not desperation or even restlessness. It was a sense of wondering how to describe – to myself and others – what my work was. It had been my once-a-decade exercise.
If you know anything about my work you know it is pretty amorphous. I’ve used the metaphor of being a quilt maker at times. I put pieces together and try to find the patterns between people, resources, ideas, and opportunities. It is satisfying – just difficult to explain.
It was especially so that morning for some reason. I wanted to either find a new metaphor or between Kisumu and Kijabe get a clearer sense of the value of my work.
The bus pulled into a filling station for gas and we all jumped off for drinks and a stretch. I went into the little store to look around and wait to get started again. Grabbing a soft drink and going up to the counter to pay I was distracted and thinking about Easter morning and my own conversation with myself. As I reached out to pay the woman at the register held my hand for longer than necessary. She looked me straight in the eye and said “Bless the work of your hands, my brother.”
Tears welled up and I was just barely able to thank her without telling her why. She had been the messenger that morning. That is what I was missing. It wasn’t the definition or a new metaphor. It was the blessing of the work of my hands – whatever that might be. I have never wondered since what I was meant to do.
I say all this because there might be someone reading this who is having the same experience. It may not be on a bus in Kenya on Easter but you are wondering what you are doing and whether or not you too have lost the plot line of your life. I would just like to say to you “Bless the work of your hands, my friend.”
I wish I could be there in person to speak that to you.