Sunday, October 8, 2017

The Pictures I Take

I have a sort of game I play in my mind. It's the #lifeinlebanon game. Every time I see a sight that would shock most Americans (and is shocking me all over again), I say to myself "Life in Lebanon". And I imagine posting it on social media.  I don’t actually take these pictures though…

The rats that scurry across our driveway.

The rat’s nest of electrical wires outside our window.

The rat poison in the food storage area of a restaurant where we just ate.

The dents and scratches that are multiplying on our car—we ask “where did that come from?!” and then we laugh at the insanity of our question.

The driving.

The driving.

The army with machine guns and sniper rifles just outside our door.

The men whose greedy eyes devour me like they own me.

The mosquito corpses on the bedroom ceiling who met their demise when I threw the Kleenex bag at them on my killing rampage—desperate for a night uninterrupted by buzzing and bites. Gotta get that ladder out soon to clean them off…

The mosquito spraying truck that assaults us as we walk along the sea—without warning—blasting its neurotoxins all over us, leaving us covering nose and mouth and running for cover.

The uneven sidewalks that will surely sprain my ankle one of these days.

The trash on the beach that I ask the kids to move before snapping a cute photo of them.

The photos I do take are of the sun melting into the sea, smiling kids, breakfast outings, and ice cream excursions. And I think that’s ok. Sometimes it’s harder to remember the good. Or maybe we just give it less attention. I need a photo of the good—maybe it is a way of “counting my blessings”.

Sour is the Arabic word for the city of Tyre

So we are adjusting to life here again, and it’s been a little more challenging than I thought it would be. Fifteen months the kids and I were away from our home here. And the sweet little house in Washington became quite home again, so the returning has been a bit jarring. Yet I have been, day-by-day, finding the joy (and sometimes the humor) in it all. 

The source of joy, though, is not in learning to make the best of things. Not even in finally being reunited with my husband. The joy comes from the total assurance that I am loved by my Lord and am exactly where He has placed me. And when my husband meets with soul-hungry, devastated people and tells them of Life and Hope… I absolutely know that I am right where I should be. I know that I get to be a little part of the work the Lord is doing in bringing His children to Himself.

So I think I will keep taking the pictures of the good. Because it is very good that we are here.


  1. So good to hear your heart Emily. Yes! Thank you Jesus for these moments! Praying for you now. Love to you sister. ~D.Loewen

    1. Thank you, Danielle! Miss you and all of your lovely family! Much love!