Last night I watched the 2006 film Babel for a class project. It was a pretty interesting film, better than some of the other films I’ve had to watch for classes. This one consisted of intersecting stories that ranged over four countries. There was one part in the film (of many) that made me really angry at Western culture. There is a moment where tragedy strikes an American woman on a tour bus in Morocco, and she needs medical care. Being in the middle of the desert, the bus’s only option is to go to the tourguide’s hometown and seek medical attention while awaiting faster transport to a hospital.
Well, the Western tourists really didn’t like that idea, and that’s what made me angry. While this woman is dying and her husband is freaking out, everyone else on the tour bus complain of no air-conditioning and fear for their safety because they are now outside the boundaries of the tour and this Moroccan village must be unsanitary and unsafe.
I wanted to scream at them: Are you kidding me? This is your chance to actually experience Moroccan life, cross cultural borders, and maybe even help someone. Look at all those children around the bus, go play with them. You may not understand their language, but I bet you all understand the basic rules of football. Take pictures with them. Watch them get a kick out of making faces and seeing themselves on the LCD screen. Get some music and start a dance party.
Obviously, I knew the real issue was that the fictional woman was dying and none of the fictional tourists seemed to care, but that’s seriously all I wanted to do…go play with real Moroccan children. (I wonder if that’s what I’d actually do in a situation like that. I like to think I would, but I’m not sure. Conviction.)
For the “future,” I’m currently applying in two different directions. One is a writing program in the country I love, and the other is a missionary-teaching position in two countries I’ve never been to but am sure I will grow to love. I want to work in writing, but I also want to teach and love children. Last night, after watching Babel, as that desire to be around children was present in my mind, I cried to God. I said, “Do they have to be separate? Can’t I have both?” Because right now it feels like it’s one or the other, teaching or writing…forever. The rest of the world or Scotland…forever. Choose now or forever hold your peace.
I don’t think that’s true, it’s just the way it feels.
I have desires, I have dreams, I have giftings and strengths, I just don’t know how they all fit together yet.
But I’m excited to get to find out.