For a split second, he had that nostalgic look on his face, like he was somewhere else, like he was remembering something.
“You look like my mom when you stir the chai like that.”
“Aww, thank you!” I grinned back as a stirred another paper cup. My heart was bursting. I can't think of a better compliment.
At a refugee camp, it's easy to feel powerless. And the past few days, I've been feeling exactly that. Powerless. Like my work here is futile.
But his words were refreshment for my soul. In that moment, I was reminded what an honor it is to be here, serving even in a tiny way. To pass out a cup of hot tea. A small, tangible piece of comfort. To remind a gentle, middle-aged man of his mother.
I'm reading Garden City and the epilogue is about redefining greatness. It talks about Mark 9 when the disciples were arguing about who was the greatest. And how Jesus told them that to be great, they should be servants, disakanos, which is also translated “waiter.”
As I read those pages I thought about how I felt serving chai. I wasn't thinking about being impressive. It wasn't particularly glamorous. But I felt connected and fulfilled and at peace. I experienced God in the middle of a barbed wire, concrete camp.
A simple cup of tea is ordinary and small but it matters. I hope I always remember that. Small things matter. Being great is not about being impressive or making a show. It's such a beautiful paradox. We find life by giving life and time and effort away. We become great by humbling ourselves. I hope each time I drink tea (which is pretty much every day, let's be real) it takes me back to that moment.
Thanks for stopping by. A little about me — I have a latte each morning and drink about 7 cups of tea a day (not exaggerating.) I live in Atlanta where I'm going to law school. I like long distance running and I love my city and I love exploring our beautiful earth. I believe in following our passions & being free.
I started this blog to document and share my favorite moments while traveling. This is a place where I process my ideas, share the aches and joys of my heart, speak truth, and shine light on the beauty I see in the world.
I've realized that what I probably love most about traveling is the same thing I love about writing — the way it connects me to myself and other people. I hope as you read my words, you feel connected to our shared humanity.
Thank you for reading. :)
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