Posted by on Aug 21, 2013 in Blog, Reflecting | 2 comments

As we approach our patient selection process, there’s a lot to think about and prepare for. Possibly the most difficult part will be telling hundreds of potential patients, “No.”

A lot of people come to Africa with the mentality that they’re here to save her. To save her people. They don’t seem to realize that Africa doesn’t need saving, at least not by them.

People approach all forms of poverty from this angle, believing that they hold some key to saving the poor. Not everyone is arrogant enough to think this way out loud, but many of us still carry the silent burden that we should somehow be doing more. We should be going out farther, befriending more people, healing more wounds.

Saving people.

Well let me tell you this now: you can’t save anyone. And this coming from within an organization that saves lives on a daily basis.

So what do I mean?

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Our patient selection site for Pointe Noire

Salvation for any country, whether it’s the Congo or the United States, must ultimately come from within. People must move to save themselves. And even then we’re terrible at it (if we weren’t, Jesus wouldn’t have had to die on a cross).

We can’t save others, and realistically we’re beyond saving ourselves. At least on our own power. Once we realize this, however, there’s a great freedom to be found. The salvation of any one person, let alone entire countries or, God forbid, continents, is not my responsibility.

This frees me up to love and give unbound. Unburdened by the fate of others, I find I am free to relate and love as I have energy and time to give. As a fellow human being, I can care without agenda. I can befriend without fear.

We often take on things that are not meant to be ours to bear. Holding onto these things leaves us weighed down by guilt, and often feeling overwhelmed. Once we let go, we find our backs unbent and our arms free to act and love without reservation. That is where friendship resides. That is where hope abounds.

Let go first. Love recklessly after.

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The roller blading club on Independence Day here in Pointe Noire

This week has been insane and is only going to get crazier – I’ll write more next Wednesday after I’ve appeared on both live television and radio shows this weekend. Stay tuned!