I heard my name.
It was a chilly, slightly rainy evening at Maama Bosa’s. The radio was on and through the (unintelligible to me) words came my name, ‘Cyndy’, more Ugandan, then the word ‘Muzunga’ (which is my second name in Africa, it means English or white Person), more Ugandan, and then the word ‘Canada’.
Cyndy + Muzunga + Canada
“They must be talking about me” I realized. Although through the dampened rainy evening, when even our thinking slowed down, it took me some time to absorb this concept.
But I’d been to the radio station on an earlier trip, and had even made a short commercial, “Hi I’m Cyndy from Canada and when I’m in Uganda I listen to…” My short burst of stardom!
I have no idea what the radio was announcing this time. I was there alongside local leaders hosting a three day conference and crusade in the town of Madudu, and the week after that we began a Bible School for rural pastors.
My day of arriving in Madudu brought immediate greetings. Still some miles away from my destination, a child called my name, “Cyynnddyy” as I passed on the boda-boda. In other words, I stand out everywhere I go in Africa, there is no blending in.
I mentioned to Maama Bosa how I’d been greeted by name some miles out and how tickled pink I was, and she replied that now I was ‘notorious’!
Not quite the way we like to use that word, but maybe it is closest to the truth!
My point in all of this, is how easy it is to make an impression and to make a difference in the world. And I have been reminded in these trips to Uganda (actually really got it for the first time), how much power we as individuals carry.
There is incredible power to encourage, to bless and to empower others, just by who we are in this world. We all have this available to us, and we all walk in it in various amounts every day. But we don’t all know it, and we are not very often intentional in it.
It all comes in the power of showing up, and of engaging a person, a gathering, a community.
This doesn’t have to happen across the seas, but it should be happening. And it can be happening. Right in your and my back yard.
It is time that more of us become notorious.
How might you be notorious today?
Where might you show up?
Positioning ourselves to bless others takes intentionality, it takes an ability to see a bigger picture than the one we live in each day, and it takes a risk to meet those we’ve not met before.
But positioning ourselves to bless others reaps incredible satisfactions and is in fact what save us from ourselves.
A life turned in becomes stagnant and dies an unnatural death. A life turned out, yields impact we will never be able to measure, and will never really understand.
I don’t know what the radio man was announcing that day in Uganda, but I am glad to be making a difference of some sort in this world. Will I ever really get what that is? No, I won’t. We never do.
And you won’t either. The impact you are making, you won’t really ever understand. But trust me, it is significant. So keep walking, become notorious, and allow the satisfactions of simply showing up, spur you on.
Forward ho, God-speed ahead.