Monday, June 21, 2010

A Sweet Collision

Travel is more than sightseeing. It’s reach is beyond the gates of an un-ventured city and it’s end far above a brilliant skyline of the world’s most impressive shores. Though sadly it’s often boiled down to a pursuit of the most impressive and a constant pressing onward to the next thrill. All the while, simple alleys and worn door frames are passed over. The very places which house the people that make these wonders so rich. These people fill the streets and their hands make the trinkets we buy. Guilty travelers look through these faces, past the ticket booths, onto to the golden statues. After all, that’s what we came to see, right?

Let me digress for a moment.

I believe in a Creator. A creator who creates good and beautiful things! Things which flow out of who he is. I’d even venture to say that he might create beauty simply for the delight of his children. Does the grandness of Yosemite Valley serve a purpose? Can it’s extravagance be calculated? Or maybe, it exists simply to display the beauty and expanse of a good Creator who takes delight in creating awesome things. A photo-op, road trip worthy, account of a God whose hand is mighty and whose brilliance is breathtaking! Could it be that he would create things just for our enjoyment? Does he smile when giddiness rises out of a soul seeing the first glimpse from the summit? I think so! But I must venture still to say, without question, that the people whom he scatters across this globe in the very places we esteem worthy of travel, are even more so astounding. Created in the very image of this great Creator, far more intricate and highly cherished than the greatest of all the world’s natural most bewitching wonders. Worthy of more affections than the best of these.

Allow me to venture a bit further. What if one’s desire to see the world’s treasures collided sweetly with one’s deep seeded personal convictions? Could these ordained soap boxes of sorts, planted in the heart of a fearfully fashioned heart, move from personal conviction to action, in a place fantastically awesome? Could travel be the means by which I fulfill what I was created to do? Something greater than a full passport, a collection of anecdotes to share with friends, and a collection of tailored pieces for publication?

I have to argue yes.

Change is possible. Travel is the means by which we do it. Writing is the method by which I steward my gift of a voice.

A year ago I sat, fixated on my now retired iBook, in a dimly lit dorm room. A week long, campus- wide discussion prompted my own investigation. Article after article, hour after hour, I was left shaken. Forever so. That night a deep seeded fury took root in a young heart. A young heart ambitious to see, explore and write about the world one over. Convicted of the massive problems that plague it, convinced she knew someone who was coming to make things right, and two hands free and longing to do something about it in the meantime. You see, in the midst of a beautifully created, brilliantly orchestrated world, there is evil. Evil that is stealing, killing, destroying that which was created to flourish. This wasn’t new to me; I knew things were broken. But I was shaken with the urge to do something about it. Shaken beyond the ability to sleep, and so I read on.

International Trade: A Marketplace of Humans. For vile, horribly defiling, repulsively debasing, purposes. Men. Women. Children. In all corners of the world. From the bungalows of Thailand, the weathered cobble stone of Europe, to the iconic comfort and perceived greatness that is California and Las Vegas. People! Bought! Taken! Used up by the superior-ly vile in the most exotic, intoxicating, sought after world wondrous locations. A white washed extravagance of a beautiful place secretly rotten within. Funded by travelers themselves.

I stand at a balance. On it sits an awe and wonder of a world waiting to be explored, and its counter in a fiery mission to change it. Repulsed to think I could have some contribution to it. How do I, as a traveler, uphold, admire, and pursue the beauty of this world without treading past the souls of people who I was created to touch?

I am convinced it’s a rather delicate balance. Passions and convictions have the opportunity to move to powerful world change when eyes find their way off the golden statues of a foreign land, and into the eyes of the people who live there. To dive head first into their stories, venturing relentlessly to listen and love in radical ways. I was given a heart, a mind, a relative restlessness, and a MacBook, wired to go and be and do big things. Not for thrill’s sake, or outside accolades, but rather on mission to make a change in things. And to tell people about it! To bring life where death threats, and light where darkness looms. Nothing fancy. Just an overflow of love into the lives and land of folks who need it most.

Ironically, I find this very mission dropping me into the loftiest of world wonders. Adventure awaits. But my eyes are fixed. Heaven forbid travel ever again be simply for the next grand wonder over the people who I might meet there.


  1. Amen, amen & AMEN!!!!!
    I am so proud of you!!!!
    Madre to an awesome woman!!!!

  2. ditto to the comment of the you Potts!