Saturday, April 23, 2011
A Brief Introspective Honduras Update: The Look in the Mirror
We don't have a team down here this week and Easter week is typically a week of diminished activity at the base. This has allowed for more time to think and ponder, whether wanting to or not. Some random thoughts and perceptions:
Living in community sounds Thoreau-like but often plays out more WWIII than Walden. Don't get me wrong--Mercy International is not characterized by cat-fights and brawling. It's just that living in community is always difficult, regardless of the context. Les and I have lived in community on two prior occasions. Those prior occasions brought to the surface and caused me to confront my own judgmental attitude and my selfishness. This occasion is no different. I need grace to bestow grace.
Living in this harsher environment as also accentuated the strengths in our marriage, but simultaneously has brought to the surface the flaws and deficiencies. It's like a crucible. Great things are being ground out in our relationship; we have laughed more the past two months than we have in a long time. We have felt a sense of accomplishment in working together on some projects. The crucible is also making obvious and grinding out some impurities. That look in the mirror has made me see that there are times when I am more loving toward a poor Honduran than I am toward my wife. I won't unleash on one of them what I will spew upon her. I am very thankful for her patience and graciousness in living with and loving me.
I'm somewhat of a germaphobe. So here I am in rural Honduras. Go figure. For years I was very hesitant to "get dirty," meaning I hedged on touching dirty and, at times, smelly children. I am embarrassed to say this. I now experience a much greater comfortability in holding and hugging them. (I still will not share a water bottle with anyone, so if you ever come down here, bring your own.)
Though not appearing in this update, due to all my pics being on my laptop and my laptop having no Internet connection this week and therefore I am using a computer in the office-- I love taking pics. I find myself taking pics of the children predominantly more than that of the scenery or other elements of the country. I'm discovering that it's the children that capture my heart. And the Honduran women who struggle to survive.
One last introspective glance: the tension between DOING and BEING has become magnified while here. I can DO loving things without necessarily BEING loving. e.g. I can build a house for a poor family (plenty of DOING) while grumbling, complaining about the poor quality of the lumber and the lack of help (scarcity of BEING.) I trust that God will continue to diminish the seemingly expansive gap between the two and that some day I will truly BE loving and also Do loving things.
Until then I'm thankful for my wife and some close friends who love me in spite of the gap.
Be thankful for what and who you have.