Can you remember what it is like to first fall in love? Take a moment and delve into your relationship databank and pull out some examples. Can you still feel the rawness of the emotions? The highs and the lows of getting to know another person can be completely overwhelming.
Who was your first love? In my case, it was Mom. Like it was yesterday, I remember looking up into her adoring eyes just after I was born - just kidding. At least I think that's how it happened! I wish I could remember that. Anyway, my first non-Mom love was Karen Wagonner. She lived across the street from us. About all I can remember at this point is she had brown hair and really pretty eyes and she was nice -we would play on the swing set in the back yard together. We were five years old.
Maybe it was your first pet. Mine was a mutt of a dog named Brownie. As an adult, my two favorite dogs were Mabel and Molly. Both were Labrador Retrievers and fantastic dogs. In the cat world, nothing can beat Eddie, who I had for 16 years - he pulled me through my divorce. but a close second is too too who was with me about eight years.
Or, perhaps, it was your first child (and second and third). This time (for real), I distinctly remember my son being born as well as my daughter. I was in the delivery room for both births and they still count as some of my most special memories of them. I thought I would burst with pride and instant love.
What does this have to do with my trip to Bongolo Hospital? Simply, this is a love story for me. Perhaps, it is one of the great ones. It's a story of opposites attract: city guy meets remote jungle hospital; of great drama; and of God making His will clear to me, sometimes in big, sweeping vistas of a call, to very minor-seeming details. One example happened just today. I was asked to spend an unexpected day in Libreville that God used to begin to get to know two potential team members, as well as to begin to put some flesh on a crazy idea for how to learn French while still feeling productive.
So, get ready! This whirlwind romance continues tomorrow and enters an exciting new phase. My new friends, Arjo and Adrie, and I leave for Bongolo Hospital with the dawn.