I’ve been thinking a lot lately about my trip to Guatemala and about how much I miss it. And I realized I haven’t shared this story with anyone yet, so you, readers of this post, will be the first.
There will come a moment when your life makes sense: your past connects to your present connects to your future. And when this happens, it will be like one big ball of “Eureka! So that’s why this happened.” Because it that moment, the Healing Process begins all over again, and it almost doesn’t matter how much pain it caused you. Because in that moment, all that matters is how it’s changing lives in a different country.
It happened to me in Santa Cruz, a little tiny mountain village in the middle of nowhere, Guatemala. It happened to me on the day I shared my Testimony with my teammates and the Spanish speaking Junior Highers. It happened to me after we made Salvation Bracelets with the Elementary schoolers. And it happened to me when a Junior Higher asked me, “Podemos hablar?,” which translates to “Can we talk?” but carries so much more weight.
And I told her: “Por supuesto!” Which means, “Of course,” but there were a million thoughts running through my head at a mile a minute, and I was thinking, “What did I do now? Did I offend her in someway? Oh gosh, I’m really not prepared for this.”
But, I was. And so we did talk, just the two of us. In Spanish. For an hour. And my heart started to break as she thanked me for sharing my story, and it completely shattered as she told me her own. Because sitting across from me, next to the soccer field, was one of the most beautiful people I’ve ever seen, and she’s sitting there telling me how she doesn’t feel like she’s enough. She doesn’t feel like she’s strong enough, brave enough, good enough, and like she doesn’t have faith enough.
And I tell her I understand. Because there are experiences that transcend all barriers. We are not from the same country. We have different cultures, and I’m trying my best to speak her language, but boy, do I understand.
And she begins to cry as she asks me how I do it–how I find the strength to get up every morning. And I sit there wondering the same thing. I look at my wrist, and I see the bracelet with the colored beads I made earlier. And in that moment, I know what I need to do.
And as I rip it off my wrist, and tie it to her’s, I tell her: “Black is for your sins. Red is for the blood of Jesus shed for you. White is for the forgiveness of sins. And blue is for baptism and a relationship with Jesus.” And then I tell her again to make sure she understands.
“Negro es para tus pecados.
Rojo es para la sangre de Jesus.
Blanca es para la compasion.
Y azul es para la relacion con Jesus.
That’s how I find my strength, and now you can have it too.”
And then we prayed a prayer, and she accepted Christ right there, and this time I cried tears of joy, because she had found the joy I found.
And as I said goodbye to her as I prepared to leave the village, I realized moments like these are why my struggles are worth it. Because if there’s one thing I’ve learned, it’s that love transcends all languages.
And I was reminded of that over and over again as the rest of my trip progressed. I was reminded when we took the orphans out for dinner, and one grabbed my hand and said, “Sientense conmigo.” Sit with me. Sit with me. And I was reminded again when she fell asleep on my lap on the bus ride home, and I had to carry her off the bus and hand her off to someone else. And the way her eyes lit up when she saw me the next day and the next day, reminded me again and again how powerful love is.
When we went to the dump this little girl who didn’t know me from Adam, ran up to me, and reached her hands up as if she was Adam and I was God. I’m no Savior, but that night I was a hero, because I brought love to give. And when I picked her up, the big smile she wore on her face was enough to make me realize we all want the same thing. We all want to feel loved. We all want to be safe.
And when the people in the dump who live on ‘not enough’ invited us into their homes so they could pray for us, I felt undeserving. Because, yes, I’ve had it rough, but at least I have enough. Right now, in this moment, you don’t. So I should be praying for you. But as they prayed I realized how much faith they had. And I want faith like theirs.
Because there are days when I don’t feel like enough. In those moments, I think back to these memories, and I realize: I have enough love to give. I am enough.
Continue reading: https://alltherestisunwritten.wordpress.com/2013/08/19/set-a-fire/