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by Maggie Utsey

fingerprints.They tell a story all by themselves.

Anointed and blessed are my days. His fingerprints are all over them.

This week began in a 15-passenger van packed with 8 languages and 7 eager faces ready to put their best foot forward. Hours and interviews later, I’d picked up new words in each language and forgot for a moment that people actually get paid to do this. I love teaching our clients and learning from them; the city is our classroom and it always feels like recess.

I love racing a child on his tricycle in the rickety WR van; rearranging car seats and buckling kids; making faces when words are few, lost in translation and teaching me to value the quiet. I love feeling like a mom as we adopt every person in love, as Christ adopted me. I love realizing that we’ve moved from strangers to family.

Looking through pictures of the refugee camp, S’s whole family, and his best friend’s wedding, my heart does not pity but rather swells as I see in his eyes that these are good memories, and this new season is good too. It’s amazing what our eyes can communicate without a word from our lips.

I love how much I’m learning and how much I still don’t know – about people, God, the world and its stories -and the hunger for more.

I love authentic Ethiopian food, eaten only with your hands, and the way I speak refugee on accident these days.

I love the story that unfolds over three glasses of peach punch around the dining table. The one that I’m so careful not to ask about. I love that the laughter is more powerful than the pain and loss – which are being redeemed. He is already made new, restored; he’s just figuring it out one day at a time.

Today I helped one of my favorite people apply for jobs, spent time looking at a map, meandered the international farmers market, wrote a letter in spanrwali (a delightful language that fits me perfectly – Spanish, Kinyarwanda, & Swahili), and tucked away a few smiles. I love those moments – when you don’t want the other person to know how much they make you smile so you wait until they’re not looking to let it light up your face. It’s a special kind of secret with God, and He smiles with me.

These are good days. He is in the details.

cute kid refugee

Maggie Utsey is a volunteer with World Relief in Atlanta.  You can follow her blog here.

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