Saturday, February 03, 2007

"My Space"

How many children fit in one bath tub?
I am always amazed at the level of tolerance Nani and Zoey have concerning space. True that in Rwanda people like to be squezed. This is after all the most densely populated nation of Africa. Taking public transport you are squezed into a minivan with at least 4 adults in a row. I call it "hiphugging". When in church the sport seems to be to get as many people to squeze together on one little wooden bench. Even in the gorcery store I feel as if everybody has to stare at the same item I stare at just so they can squeze me... Claustrofobic?
Sometimes I want to wear a hula hoop around my hips, just to mark "my space".
Yet I look at my daughters; in the back seat of our car we have 2 child seats for the babies. The left over space barely fits a teenager. Yet both Nani and Zoey are used to the discomfort of hiphugging and just squeeze in...
They share a double bed, works great for the two of them. When they have a friend spent the night she too hiphugs right in... They than throw in the cat at least one big stuffed animal for each of them, some books and other random items...
Interestingly enough coming from a lifestyle of needing "my space" I find myself able to give up this "right" of space. Almost to the point where I expect to be hiphugging with someone at some point of my day. I actually find it kind of cozy, especially in the village it gives me a feeling of participation and unity.
When the body becomes what it is; a shell for the true part of a person; his spirit man, or soul instead of this "item" of glorification of special rights and needs, a person can enjoy the warmth and closeness of another shell. Let me explain what I mean; My body, my space, my physical needs... this was part of my morals my values to respect that in myself and others. This has changed over the time living in Rwanda. Observing my Rwandan village friends and particular bible verses have humbled me to get a grip of the purpose of a body. My village friends toil and sweat all day. Walking for hours and hours doing hard, very hard physical work. They produce offspring and eat away their hunger.
"Therefore, offer your bodies as a living sacrifice..." "The flesh is at war with the spirit(man)" "Without faith it is impossible to please God" All these verses from the bible show me life is not about the body at all. I know you know this. The question remaining is; why do we try to solve inner wounds; disapointments, abandonment issues, depression, trauma's with physical salutions...
Why do I feel I need my space... what in me causes me to get claustrophobic hips...
I know the Lord has done a work in me of restoration and perspective, He has opened my eyes to the value of the body and the great tool it is to express love, friendship, unity and acceptance. For so long I believed the body to be this elevated private element of a being, in need of space and respect. I have lacked expressing love, giving comfort and physical acts of frienship as a result. Rwanda's beautiful people opened my eyes, God changed my perspective as he healed my wounds "in need of space". Now I can hip hug without claustrofobic hips...

So how many children fit in one bath tub? You do the math!

1 comment:

inkelaar said...

lieve Astrid,

ik weet niet of dit werkt ( en hoe)
Jullie zijn ondanks Africa toch ook handig metr techniek blijkt.
Ik wil even tegen je zeggen dat ik je stukjes erg de moeite waard vindt. Je hebt beslist een gave om te schrijven.Ik dacht al: zou misschien iets voor Eva (blad) zijn, zou je dat eventueel willen?liefs,
Charlotte