I feel nervous about leaving Ireland.
I want to stay here as long as I can. I want to be on the moors and by the sea and with the people. I want to listen to Irish music and eat Irish food. But I know I must go eventually, and when I do, I don’t know when I will be back again.
I think these nerves are present in me because God is easy to feel here. I feel overwhelmed by God’s presence in the raw, natural beauty of this place. (I found myself wondering today if there is a word that means more than beautiful. Perhaps there is an Irish word that captures what I think I mean. ) It is easy to connect with God here because it is easy to connect with people here. The American accent immediately starts a conversation. Then when I explain why I am in Belfast, the conversation deepens. But I think the real reason that it is easy to connect is because the people are willing to be vulnerable. They all have a story to tell and many are willing to tell it.
I feel nervous about leaving Ireland because it is easy to be with God here. I know that it should not always be easy to find God, but it sure is nice. I also know that I am merely scratching the surface. It is easy to run away from your problems and find refuge in another place. I often think about the line from Mrs. Doubtfire when Daniel (Robin Williams) is desperately trying to hold his marriage together. He suggests a vacation with the kids, but Miranda (Sally Field) says “Oh Daniel, our problems would just be waiting for us when we got back.”
We cannot run away from our problems or our fears or our mistakes. But that doesn’t mean we don’t want to, and it doesn’t mean that to do so might make living easier for a time. And right now, in Ireland, it is easy for me to be with God. So I think I’ll stay here for a wee bit.