The weight of leaving.

It’s a week until I leave again for South Sudan. Tonight my thoughts are a bit rambling. I had some of my family over this evening, because this is the last chance I will have to see a lot of them until I get back. A sort of melancholy  often follows me now, knowing the weight of what is before me, and knowing that I’ll be leaving my wife and kids for two weeks with very little contact. 

photo-7
Children paddle a dugout canoe in the village of Panwel, South Sudan.

Though it hurts, this is a good thing for me and probably a good thing for them as well. Sometimes I don’t realize what I have until I step back for a while. Only then can I reassess and re-sort everything that’s important to me. All the nuances of faith, family, work, business in general, hobbies; these are all brought into perfect clarity, and in the end the dross is skimmed from the top, and the things that are left; the things that I still find myself praying and thinking about when I’m in South Sudan, these are the things that are the fine gold that are worth having.  That client that’s been irritating me, or that issue at home; these things fall by the wayside as the permanence of the relationships I build with my wife and kids and the work to make the world a little less evil rise to the top. It’s funny, but when I’m in South Sudan, I’m always eager to get home, but when I’m home, I can’t wait to get back to South Sudan. This week it will become even more real as I pack.

I’ll stop here, lest I find myself rambling further. Needless to say, though, I will miss my family, though I know that the example I give my kids is worth it. 

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