I bet you can’t say that children cry when they look at you! Well . . . I have that special gift. But there’s a twist. It only happens in third-world countries where white blonde ladies are a scarcity.
I first encountered this phenomenon in the remote village of Namulonge, Uganda. From across the school yard, a mother was holding a baby and as I walked closer, the tears started to flow down that little face. Having never seen someone with my skin color frightened the child. They thought I was a ghost. Makes sense, huh? Like seeing Bigfoot pop out from behind a tree along you picturesque nature walk. Well, maybe a smaller, less hairy version.
The second ghost sighting was in India 2015. I was documenting the work of an organization that built schools, churches and clinics; worked in slums and villages; distributed loans to individuals to become micro-enterprise business owners; provided safety for sex-traffic victims. I was meandering along a dirt path, in and out of huts in a labor village (meaning most of the community worked in the fields with animals). I came upon a small group of young people and as I got closer, I heard that familiar sound. You know . . . the one when your child gets a shot and wails while staring at you with those judging eyes.
Yep. I heard that piercing noise. Strike two. Jessica did it again. I made another child cry.
The older kids were laughing as I walked by, but the frightened toddler hid their face in their hands sobbing until I left the area.
So what’s the lesson learned here? Other than maybe getting a tan before traveling to other countries to not scare the natives. (BTW . . . I don’t tan. I burn which could scare anyone in the world.) We all do this. When something unfamiliar, something uncomfortable comes our way, we hide. We try to avoid the situation or person. But when we run away and not face the opportunity, we miss out on growing. On character building. On something that could be magnificent and life changing.
Don’t be afraid to get out of your comfort zone. Fear drives out love, BUT perfect love drives out fear.