I have the entire year planned out.  I have committed to a few things and totally cut other things out.  I am looking forward to all the things I have planned.  My list is impressive.  I stand back, cock my head and nod congratulating myself on a job well done.  A year of fearlessness is starting off just right.

Here it comes.  The wrench between my cogs.  The crack in the sidewalk that stubs my toe.  The skip in the music I was orchestrating.

An email.  A simple email reminding me.  No, not reminding, confirming.  They are coming.  Soon.

Get your paperwork in.  $8 for proof of a clean (enough) driving record, proof of vehicle insurance, and a signed job description before you can begin.

They are not coming from where we thought but their arrival is imminent.

I didn’t forget them did I?  In my well laid out plans for the year, in my self congratulatory fearlessness, did I forget to factor in this possibility?  In my new nonprofit position, have I excused myself from the commitment I made?  Was I quietly backing out of the room, lowering my raised hand and removing myself from the line up?

Here.  You take my number.  I have to be somewhere else.

My list seems stupid.  Vanity.  A striving after wind.

Refugees from Darfur will be here soon.  Most likely women and children.  Most likely traumatized.  Everything will be new for them.  Everything. They will need an education in things I haven’t thought about in years.  The hows and whys of our society, technology and language.

Maybe not.  Maybe they will be like my beloved Abubakar and be educated, motivated and inspirational.  One never knows.

I read the email on the way to a fancy, schmancy dinner with my husband.  I scrolled down the e-blasts from Amnesty Intl., and Shoedazzle to find the email from St. Vincent Catholic Charities.  I read it quickly and told my husband that they are coming.

I looked out of the window into the street filling slowly with layers of big, fat snowflakes wondering.

I looked at him and said that I will have to give something up.  A split second of furrowed brow selfishness past over my forehead.  I forgot myself.  I was then reminded. No, not reminded, confirmed.

It will not suffer much to say no to a few things planned.  

For I know the plans I have for you.   

He has.  No striving for the wind on his watch.  I just hope that with my open hand lifted up I can be a useful engine.  (Thomas the Train people.  Did I mention I have a toddler?)

It is our ability to say yes that makes life purposeful.  Meaningful. Wonderful.

Does anyone have $8 I can borrow?

If you are interested in helping out let me know! You can help by being a mentor or just volunteering to drive for doctor’s appointments.  St. Vincent’s Catholic Charities has a lot of different job descriptions to choose from.  Or you can make a donation to the Michigan Darfur Coalition and help us assist by providing additional funding once their state assistance runs out.

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