The envelope

Still in transit. We just arrived in Hong Kong. It’s a rainy day outside, and we have decided that roaming the city could be overwhelming loaded down with things (totally just me) and on this wet day. While we could easily buy umbrellas, Liz described it as wanting to get to Sri Lanka still “feeling like a human being” rather than arriving bedraggled and exhausted. I totally agreed. In addition, my body is already revolting from the travel and we have a long ways yet to go.

I just chatted with Liz about few concerns I have. Perhaps it is just me being hyper critical of everything. In the past few days and even on our arrival here to Hong Kong, we have received messages to relate to the Brothers. Before we left, I worked with the Office of Mission to send 7 boxes of items to Sri Lanka, each of them weighing between 20 and 30 pounds. In the end, sending them – boxes filled with school supplies, books, games for the children – cost over $600. I couldn’t help wondering what more that $600 could have done. Too, in the messages that are being sent with us, I can’t help feeling like an envelope rather than part of a larger, collective mission. And when messages are transferred, aren’t the envelopes just something that we toss away? Perhaps it is selfish to want to be more than an envelope, more than the message bearer. Perhaps it is pompous to think that I might have something to offer, even if it is just in the work of my hands. Maybe I should aspire to putting aside my own self-centeredness and take on the work of the message bearer, but I still want to believe that I have something to offer to these Lasallian works, more than being a person who works at the same university of those who have gone before us to Sri Lanka. Even if no one has a need for my work in edtech or poetry or literacy or professional development or whatever it is I am studying and invested in, I want to think that my hands can be used by someone for good work, that I can do good work and that it will be valued for itself.

 

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