Monday, December 20, 2010

Two-mile Trail

Look to the left, look to the right, look to the left, look to the right. The cars are driving on the wrong side of the road so what I see doesn’t make sense in my head. With conscious effort I begin to anticipate traffic flow; but then a boda drives by going the new wrong way, then a bike. The normally narrow space needed to trot across a busy road must double or even triple. Luckily that amount of space does open…eventually.

Repeatedly reminding myself that a slow pace is best, I expect to prevent griminess before setting my first foot into Calvary Chapel Namulanda for the Sunday service. Dust covered walking paths alongside Entebbe road wind their way through front yards, trash burning heaps, and in front of vegetable stands. Boda drivers compete for my business to no avail. The trails come scarily close to grazing cattle (with very big horns, I might add) and in the path of many a chicken.

The big pink building at the dip in the road marks the place where I turn to begin the uphill climb. Like the shape of a staircase – right turn, left turn, right turn, left turn – I work my way up, up, up. I pause in the shade of a new compound wall to catch my breath before the incline increases. I consider helping two young girls carrying jerry cans (water cans) up from their murky water source. It is Sunday after all, I should be a good servant. Instead I say good morning and the girls repeat back the standard, “Good morning, how are you?” Only sometimes are the children able to carry on a conversation beyond those introductory words.

At the top of the hill I emerge through the church gate only to find that my 45 minute, two-mile walk has brought me there 15 minutes early. I perch on top of the short stone wall and let my incredibly failed attempt at avoiding sweat dry in the light breeze.

From inside the church I can hear Pastor Wilson and a few others in prayer for the nation, the community, and the church. I consider joining them but am more concerned with drying off first. Eventually I enter to a resounding “welcome Leslie” and I join the small group in their final circle—the Holy Spirit lives here too. I am given the privilege of praying for this village and feel so inadequate next to these mighty men of God. Yet I know no performance is needed.

Two-mile trail. The things I can see by walking instead of riding on my ponderous way to church are beyond beautiful.