Tonight we sat down to dinner on our living room floor, intended to watch a TV episode. Today didn’t sparkle, and we wanted to laugh.
Just as we started, she showed up at the door asking for water. At this hour, it’s always the same little girl with the same sweet smile.
I brought her water and a piece of naan. I opened the door for her to sit on our step.
She watched us; we watched her. We talked about our options. How do we love her well?
And then we moved over to eat with her. We all sat by the doorstep eating naan and curried chickpeas. We played a few games of dominoes, and Stephen slipped an orange into her coat pocket.
More often than not I find myself asking, How did we get here? How did we get to having kids all over the kitchen, to having a basket of children’s medicine and Band-Aids by the door? When did our Saturday become filled with installing a water pump and passing out oranges? When did our walls become covered in coloring pages?
When did normal become an evening of one neighbor crawling into our well; pulling a child off of our air-conditioner; having dinner on the doorstep with a little girl; and playing a wordless game of dominoes into the evening?
I remember when we moved, and I was so nervous to choose a house. I don’t even know why; I think I just wanted so badly to make the right decision. So many people had opinions and advice, while there were so many changes anyway. I just remember praying every night that we would find a house that was perfect for where we were supposed to be.
And Stephen and I both thought this one was right. Many disagreed; it was deemed overpriced and in a dangerous part of town.
We went for it.
We never guessed the landlord would lower the rent by 25% after a year; that was unheard of for foreigners, where most rent goes up yearly. We would have never guessed that we’d have kids in our yard daily or that we’d be waking up to our names being personally called outside the window. I never would have guessed I’d go for a run and have an entourage of kids running beside me for the first two blocks.
I never would have guessed they’d teach me what community is. I never guessed I’d see this much of Christ in the thanaka-covered faces on my kitchen floor. I never thought I’d see so much of Christ in the way Stephen cares for the kids on our porch.
I never knew I’d end up here, but this house and this neighborhood have proved to be one of the clearest ways I have seen God’s faithfulness in the past two years.