Last night, as I worked with Brother Dominic to prepare a presentation to the students on the sign of peace, its significance in the Mass and its application to our lives, I broke down. The task itself was not too difficult especially with proper guidance, but it was in this moment that I began crying for the first time in Kisumu. I knew this moment was fast approaching, but I did not expect it to come during a rather ‘academic’ exercise.
In discussing the Eucharist as a sacrament of peace and brainstorming about a time in which I have experienced the peace of Christ in my life, it became overwhelmingly apparent how unfair it was that I have experienced Christ’s love in so many people in countless ways throughout my life in contrast to the chaos in the lives of the children at OLG. It’s always hard to comprehend unfairness in the world, but when two very different worlds are brought together, which is the case in my presence at Our Lady of Grace, this contrast is startling.
Brother Dominic helped me to understand, accept and and be at peace with this disheartening realization of inequality. He helped me to understand God’s Providence in my life and in the lives of the children here. He helped me to see God’s presence in their smiles and laughter. He helped me to understand that I have been blessed with a loving healthy family so that I may bring my whole self to these children, so that Christ may work through me in the way he has worked through my parents so that these children may know God’s love for them is eternal and unconditional, something that the material world simply cannot and has not offered them.
I will go forth in these next few weeks being present to the students by listening to their stories, praying with them and playing with them thanks to my family and friends and Christ’s presence in each of them.