How could I possibly thank you enough.
You have endured so much more than I could ever imagine. You witnessed your family and friends perish—brutally—at the hands of ISIS. You bore the brunt of their senseless genocidal intent. You live in a state of constant fear and trauma—caught in limbo between your past and future.
You opened your tent to me, a stranger—a tourist—to your suffering. Everything you owned was contained in that 57 square foot space, brimming with things that were important enough to take with you on that 1,000+ mile journey.
You made space for me. You cooked an enormous, delicious meal from your UNHCR rations and some fresh produce you bought with your dwindling cash. I pecked at my plate, feeling guilty for eating of your supply.
You insisted I finish my plate. You continued to pile on more food while you poured me a steaming cup of sweet chai.
I placed my hand on my heart in a feeble expression of gratitude. You didn’t speak my language and I didn’t speak yours.
We spent six hours together, conversing through Google translate, hand signals, and infectious laughter.
In the simplicity of that afternoon, you changed my life. You showed me the beauty of choosing love over fear, of choosing joy over despair.
I promise to remember that meal for all my days. I promise to bring your kind of senseless hospitality to the West. I promise to invite strangers to my table—especially the ones who are different from me in more ways than I could count. I promise to let the warmth of my kitchen speak over any language barrier. I promise to loosen my grip on my resources and extend them with an open hand. I promise to sit with the “other”—for hours if necessary—listening with intent even when I don’t understand.
I promise to fight fear because you fight fear every. single. day. You have every reason to fear. No one would ever blame you for protecting your own. And yet. You opened your home and resources to me, a complete stranger.
I promise to spend my life trying to make sense of your confounding generosity. I promise to spend my life in the “and yet.”
Thinking of you this Thanksgiving and always.
- Jun 18, 2018 for tom.
- Jan 26, 2017 week one impressions
- Nov 29, 2016 on being a christian in trump's america
- Nov 22, 2016 on senseless hospitality
- Oct 13, 2016 on the lost childhoods
- Oct 13, 2016 a case for the desert
- Aug 31, 2016 from the inside #1
- Dec 28, 2015 parry's cabin & an ode to home
- Jan 2, 2015 on balance
- Nov 18, 2014 the essence of fear