People have asked how school is going- and strangely I find myself incapable of giving a straight answer. Do I hesitate to complain? to cause people to worry? Or am I afraid they won't understand this strange hurt which gnaws at my heart?
I say school is fine because it is fine. My classes are fine, too- at times good. Even very good. I don't dread my classes. I dread the day.
Because the truth is- I am incredibly lonely. Loneliness. I realize now I had never known it.
I used to think tournaments were lonely. All my friends would be in or watching debates, and I - tired, uninterested speechy would wander the halls feeling sorry for myself. But I had only to find a mother to have arms wrapped around me- "You're beautiful. You're wonderful. Can I do anything for you? Are you hungry?"
That was not loneliness.
My entire life I have been with people who, if they did not share my interests shared my culture, if not my culture- my God. And that made us brothers.
But now?... now... (My pen wavers, what to say?)
I can reach out, yes. I can talk to people who don't want to talk to me- who can't understand me...
But (my dear friends!) - I have no solace. Not one moment of abandon and ease. No blind, loving trust.
The cute guys, whom I find watching me instead of the professor, party on weekends.
The girls- they smile at me in a confused sort of way as I talk. But I long to look beyond their (lack of) dress and see a soul I could love- and one God can save.
And at lunch? The cafeteria reverberates with curses, gossiping, and flirtation. I find a place where I am in no one's way and eat, finding it hard to enjoy it because it seems nobody cares- and I wish it were over. Lunch has never felt so long.
I want a friend. It wouldn't take much. All I want is to see somewhere in that overwhelming room a head bow- to my God.
Because I am a stranger in a foreign land.
I learned this lesson already in India. There was a reason Christ sent the disciples out two-by-two. I hope to attend the campus bible-study soon so I can find my people. But until that time- God's stretching me. A lot.
I forget about Him so easily. And then I remember. And peace washes my soul.
I will not let them steal my joy. His joy.
My security is not found in what people think of me, but who I am in Christ.
Oh, that He might ever more be my all in all.