Today was a day of reflection, and of closure. The ripping apart feeling started last night, and Kellie and I started to feel pretty sad. Of course we look forward to seeing our family, but we also feel a strong longing to remain.
Kel and I sat on a stucco wall underneath a starry sky that was lazily interrupted with hazy lightning. We could hear thunder that sounded both distant and underneath our feet. The Guatemalan breeze played coolly across the courtyard as we quietly spoke of our incredible week.
If you haven’t seen the remake of The Karate Kid, you should. One scene from the movie played out in my mind as we drank our coffee and listened to the night sounds of crickets, dogs, and firecrackers. The mother and son in the movie had to leave their home and relocate to China. As they pulled away in the Taxi their whole family was there to send them off.
What captivated my thoughts was that although the moment was bittersweet, the family was concentrating on the sweet. They hugged and smiled and cheered, wishing them a safe journey and success. So often we concentrate on the loss of leaving rather than the celebration of a life lived well.
With this thought in mind, our experience took on its proper perspective. I was also reminded of Paul’s statement that he had fought a good fight, he had finished the race. We went to bed last night with the knowledge that we had accomplished what we set out to complete, and had received far more than we could ever give.
Early this morning we awoke with 7 final hours of strenuous labor on the house. Today was planned to be a sightseeing day, but we all agreed that we would rather continue the work. It was the right choice, and the desire of our hearts. We were also tired to the bone, and mentally exhausted. So much more was to come.
At 3:00 (well more like 3:20, we had another batch of concrete to mix) we wrapped up our labor and walked down the road and up the side of the mountain to begin the dedications of the two homes that were built this week. The weight of the emotion was staggering…it made the concrete bags seem like such dust.
Our Karate Kid perspective kept our minds in the right place. Today wasn’t about our saying good-bye, no…it was about celebrating the life and the blessings that we had shared with the people of Guatemala. Well sure, there may have still been some tears, but they were the tears of incredible happiness.
Tonight we said our final farewells to our new dear friends, exchanged words, prayers, and gifts. It was a wonderful moment. It was like the perfect end to a perfect movie. The kind of ending that you know is not an ending at all…but just the last seen in a wonderful prequel.
So tonight, as I type the final blog from Guatemala, I look outside and listen to the quiet symphony of crickets, distant dog barks, and still catch the deep thunderings of the tropic night, I close the Mac-book with a sense of contentment, and the knowledge that this place has become a part of me.
I leave with a new sense of perspective…and a clear sense of purpose. Thank you Edgar and Ramiro. Thank you to your beautiful families. Thank you to the 5 girls and to the wonderful families who touched our lives when you allowed us into your homes.
We will see you soon, and we promise to bring friends (get your passports ready people).