It’s beautiful here in France. Just beautiful. The leaves are yellowing, the air crisp, the sky the bluest of blues. As that as a backdrop, you’d think our lives would be full of wonder and ease. And sometimes that is true. But sometimes the little things of living cross-culturally get to me. Those of you who are missionaries, feel free to chime in here and let me know if you agree.
I sent a registered letter to myself today. By accident. It was supposed to go to Nice, but I put my address and the recipient’s address in the wrong place on the form. Imagine my surprise when the postman came to the door with the letter I had tried to send, giving it back to me. I paid over 5 US dollars to send it to myself. And then 5 more to send it to the right place. Sheesh!
Aidan had a difficult day at school. His teacher brought his bad grade to the attention of the entire class. He had actually gotten the answers correct, he just didn’t do it the correct manner. It took a lot of encouraging, praying and hugging to help him recover. This idea of shame and humiliation pervades the French school system, and for the life of me, I don’t get it. Sophie’s teachers read everyone’s grades out loud and then comment on the grades.
Julia was weepy yesterday after school. She left her jacket behind, but the teacher didn’t let her go look for it. “It’s going to be donated to the poor people,” she cried. At the dinner table when we did highs and lows, Julia started crying. “I want to leave. I can’t wait until I’m 20 years old and can get married and get out of here.” More hugs, more tears. It’s enough to break my heart.
Oh dear Jesus, be near to us. Touch us. Heal us. Help us endure. Help us have joy in the midst of trials. Touch our hearts. Heal this land. Amen.