Lately I have been inundated with the reminder to love. To love God and to love people. No matter what. No matter the circumstance. No matter how hard it may be. Just love.
So often I can find myself thinking that the word love can be cheesy, overused, misused and unimportant. But right now in my heart, it is so authentic and vital.
Being able to experience life in another country and work within a ministry is a dream come true for me. I believe with all my heart this is where I am meant to be. It is where I am happiest. It is where I feel fulfilled. But why? What am I really doing?
On a day-to-day basis I can tell you what I am doing. I am working at BuildinGUATE. I have the responsibility to account for the finances, I help each week at our soup kitchen for the community at the trash dump, I am assisting in building a structure and foundation for this organization, etc. etc. etc…
This last Wednesday I was hit with a reminder about why I was really here. What I was actually called to be a part of. I was able to look past all the things that had accumulated on my to-do list and look into the eyes of people that I have slowly gotten to know over these last three months. What I saw was a group of people who have had a life that is much harder, much more stressful , and much more empty than most of us could even imagine. But this particular group of people have been handed a glimmer of hope. They are the families that have been given homes at Tierra de Esperanza (Land of Hope). We had a meeting with these families and during that meeting we were reminded of how much they need Jesus.
One man in particular stuck out to me on Wednesday. If one were to choose the biggest outcast from these outcasts, I think he would be chosen. At least on this day. This man has been causing all sorts of strife on this community recently. He is drinking heavily, making threats to people, and causing others to live in fear. Sitting across the table from him I could see the captivity he was living in. It was almost tangible. He was so uncomfortable, unable to sit still and feel calm. He was clearly upset with his neighbors, and clearly didn’t care too much about their well-being. He felt wronged by them and reacted the only way he knew how: by stirring the pot and making things worse. It made me wonder how many people in his life have ever shown him love. I wonder that about most people that live out there. As a whole I have recognized how the vast majority of people living there, adults and children alike, do not see their worth. They do not see how much we love them and even more so how much God loves them. Oh, how I pray they will begin to see it.
As I left that day all I could think about was how INCREDIBLE it will be when he sees Jesus. When he hears and understands and accepts the God of this universe and turns his life over to Christ. What a beautiful day that will be. Where many think that type of change will never come, that is what we should be living for and praying for everyday. In this moment, yes, I will admit, it seems unlikely and seems a little impossible. But that is the human way of thinking. I am believing in and serving Christ. And Christ makes the impossible possible. Christ came to seek and to save those who are lost. And that is the ultimate action of love.
I don’t want to be too wrapped up in doing things for BuildinGUATE when I have an opportunity to invest in lives on a very personal level. While being a good steward of the resources we have received here at BuildinGUATE is extremely important, please pray with me that I keep my eyes open and my heart focused on what I was really called to Guatemala for. To love.
“Above all, love each deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins.” 1 Peter 4:8