What is This?

Sidney First's journey toward understanding the heart of God for trafficked children and women.


⊆ 1:22 PM by Daniel Gildner | ˜ 0 comments »

17,000 mph

3000 degrees

That is the speed and temperature at which a space shuttle begins the re-entry phase of it's mission. Very fast. Very warm.

I've heard from a lot of books and papers that the "coming home" of one from a missions experience is often called "reverse culture shock." One web page describes it like this,
"While you may know your home, you may not realize how much you have changed after being gone. In adjusting to life in a new culture, your perceptions, habits, and maybe even values have changed, perhaps without your awareness, to fit in with the cultural context of your host country. At the same time, you've probably carried around in your head a wonderful mental picture of your home environment. All of a sudden, when you get home, reality just doesn't measure up to that picture."

I like that definition a lot. But today, on my first day back, I feel a bit more like a space shuttle than I do a human. I have been traveling fast and hot for 11 days and yes, I have changed, but my universe has as well. I am no longer entering the world that I knew before. The world has changed because I was able to put on heaven's glasses (I made that up, I'm not sure they really exist --except for in The Shack --read that book...glasses not included). And they are glasses that cannot be removed.

I wonder how an astronaut re-enters the earth's atmosphere:
-Can she ever see a sunrise the same way?
-Will he read "Little Boy Blue" without laughing at the ridiculousness of the cow?
-Will she be able to read the Psalm 8 without crying?

It's not just because the astronaut has changed. Re-entry is difficult because the world that they once knew is gone. I can't speak for the other 7 of us, but I now live in a new reality.

A reality where:
...I have a difficult time turning on the A/C (stores seem so cold to me)
...my normal size laptop seems huge to me after using a little travel one (seriously, the bigness of my computer really bothered me this morning)
...my regular news program in the morning seemed morose and irrelevant. It's hard to watch a program on a celebrity whose voice is too loud when I met children whose voices have not been listened to.
...I can no longer see a Mexican without knowing his/her story.

Granted, this new reality thankfully still has running water, hot shower water and a toilet that I can put paper in...and I am grateful. In fact, I don't think I've ever been more aware of my blessings.

And in that I recognize that my new reality, the new atmosphere that I call Life Part 2 on Earth begins, much like the last one ended...overwhelmed by how far I have to go but recognizing the grace in the moment that will one day get me there.

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