Liberian cloth and Somersaulting Honeypots

The piece of yellow cloth caught my eye and my breath stuck in my throat. Africa. It’s got to be from Africa. 

The evening before, as I had packed for a month away from Virginia, I’d told God very plaintively that I want to sit with an immigrant on the bus. { like, okay God, if You’re not gonna let me leave the country, at least give me this one request… So you see, it was mostly selfish.}

Selfish request was all but forgotten the next morning. Melissa and I hugged goodbye beside the bus and I clambered aboard, lugging my characteristically heavy backpack down the isle. I scanned the seats for friendly faces and for a few brief seconds debated between the big hillbilly guy and the African-American businessman. The latter won, maybe because he was closer; but I settled in beside him and tried to be all polite and as undramatic as possible. He at least seemed to sleep for nearly two hours, and by the time he ‘woke up’, I had noticed his African-ish kanga fabric.

When I asked where he comes from ……”Liberia.”  {hiccup. an immigrant. } 

His name is Moriu. A serious man not that much older than myself who has huge dreams and several wives and three children and after talking for several hours he told me that he believes we were supposed to sit together, and that ” beginning January 6th, my life will be different.” He is tired of sin and wants Purity.

 Dare to talk to God before you climb aboard Greyhound buses. May be that He has someone specific He’d like you to sit with..?! 

Hours and hours later I was watching a janitor push his mop across the floor of the Nashville station, when a tall man in a green beanie and a scruffy blonde beard plopped into a seat close by. We had exchanged pleasantries earlier but now we actually began a conversation and it quickly veered deeper than family life and economics.

3 hours later we had boarded the bus together and also accumulated another kid who had words he wanted to contribute. The people around us were stoical and i couldn’t tell what they thought as we talked on about abortion and the reality of God. We finally sagged in our seats and slept, then smiled the next morning and parted ways. Ryan headed on towards Oregon to pick up a truck and haul it to who-knows-where. Pray for Ryan. That he would find the reality of God’s presence here, in this life.

And then I spent three + weeks slicing meat and bagging Runts and baking gooey chocolate chip cookies. A woman named Mildred crept in to buy Rye bread, and didn’t leave until she had given me an illustrated page depicting the benefit of antioxidants. Another withered little lady talked about losing so much weight that she gets up during the night to eat chips. Mr Gail carried hog-scent into the store nearly every time he came  but his loneliness was bottomless enough to drown out my aversion to the odor. We drank coffee together and he was gracious enough to eat several handfuls of my too- crisply-baked cookies. On my last official day there, I tore a box open and little honey jars went rolling under the shelving and into various isles. A silvery grandma came around the corner carrying a little pot of honey– “this was in the other isle…”

{ smiles up at her with my most Pooh-like grin.} 

 

/// I returned to Virginia and life continued on here. Amidst an explosion of refugees wanting English classes, Dad needing help with getting the business up and going, and local teaching opportunities, we have been far from bored.

I do think it’s ironic though, that, when I told the before-mentioned Liberian that I’d love to visit his country, I wasn’t expecting it to happen.

Turns out i may be walking those paths in several weeks.

I like the mysterious ways of my Abba.

 

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2 thoughts on “Liberian cloth and Somersaulting Honeypots

  1. I have been reading your blog for awhile now, and can I just say that I love your writing! What you write seems to resonate with me in every way. Just like you write about your desire to be more like Jesus in every way, that is my desire as well, and I am often encouraged reading a new blog post from you. I just wish you would find the time to write more often!!:)
    Teresa, may God bless your life as you serve Him faithfully wherever He calls you. Please keep on using your writing talents to bless us as your readers. And I hope to hear more about your possibe upcoming trip to Liberia!?!?!?!

    Like

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