Wowza. I read the Poisonwood Bible by Barbara Kingsolver this weekend. My, how it brought me back.
Ten years ago, I lived in Mali, West Africa…for just one year. It’s a year I remember better than any year of my life, and yet it doesn’t feel like it’s possible that it was THIS body that was there. It feels like another lifetime or a very long dream or a movie you grew up watching. I never talk about it, and I think that is because there are just no words. No one in my life was there to witness it with me, except one good friend who lives in TX now, and even with her, our memories are enough. It’s just too heavy for words.
But this book. This author knows how to describe the taste, smell, feeling of an African village. She is remarkable, the sheer amount of lessons carefully weaved into this piece of historical fiction. It should be read by anyone going to Africa, period, especially going as a missionary. It’s painful and scary, as is Africa! But it’s beautiful and real, as is Africa as well. I realize I’m not giving any real thoughts or details here; I’m not even telling anyone to read the book, because it could mess you up entirely! But in my soul, it stirs what has always been there. It’s not as raw and broken as it used to be, because I’m sealed inside this new season of life, a season of life where God has chosen a different slew of priorities for me. But it is still there. I’ll always love the people of Africa with a huge portion of my heart; I hope some of them in the village of Dialakorobougou know it.