I usually get the most homesick when I'm really sick. It's during those days that I long for familiarity most. My feverish brain can't think in Spanish, much less explain to the pharmacist that I need a mucus reducing, non-drowsy medication in it. I want Puffs Plus with aloe and Nyquil, not a roll of one-ply toilet paper and cherry cough syrup. I want chicken noodle soup and soft-serve ice cream. And I want air conditioning and/or heat on-demand. In short, I want familiarity and comfort. And, by the way, I also want my mommy.
This week, I've been suffering through a terrible cold. I haven't moved much from my nest on the sofa where I've binge-watched old episodes of Golden Girls on Hulu in my pajamas for 48 straight hours. Dorothy, Rose and Blanche can resolve any problem in just 15 minutes. They're witty, welcoming and so very American. They are exactly what my homesick heart craves. And I'm happy here on the couch with them away from everything Honduran.
Finally, we could wait no longer. The errands must be done. So this morning I mustered up enough energy to get dressed and we headed into town. I was in a hurry to get this over with and get back to the girls as quickly as possible. But we didn't get far before we were stopped by police and re-directed off the main road into backed up traffic. I was tired already. I grumbled something about the city's Annual Mushroom Festival to Steve and began to stew as we sat not moving and breathing in exhaust from a delivery truck directly in front of us. I sat mentally making a list of all the Honduran customs that annoyed me most. By the time we finally retreated to a restaurant for lunch to wait out the traffic delays, I had made up my mind that the source of all the problems in this country was the entire culture itself. "If only they could be more American like me," I thought.
It is a dangerous thing for a missionary to start resenting her host society. And I was not far away from that leap when a flash of color caught my eye out the window. I wanted nothing more than to be away from this culture, but God had sent me right into the heart of it. We were smack dab in front of the annual parade with a perfect view of the vivid colors, pageantry, artistry and joy―a celebration of everything Honduras. How could I not fall in love again?
I am so grateful for indulgences that remind me of home once in a while. But I'm also blessed to know that the Lord knows what my heart needs better than I do. And today He had to send a whole parade to remind me.