Sunday, April 10, 2011

GUATEMALA 2010-Hold That Line

My Gap jeans are now authentically distressed and weathered.  As the afternoon rain threatened to monsoon us, I planted my knee firmly in the mud and pivoted on my left hand as I held the string that would guide our next layer of cinder blocks.  Ramiro said a string of words that my English-hearing ears could not understand, and the oldest son that would be living in the home translated for me, “hold that line.”
By now you have a glimpse of how my mind works.  I hear or see a moment that grabs my attention and hot-wires my memories.  This particular line sparked my mind to envision those moments that shaped my world.  I thought of my grandfather Shepherd fighting in WWII, and my father fighting in Vietnam.  While I can’t imagine the courage and iron-heart that it must have required to stand in those times, I can recognize the incredible worth of the cause, and the strong men that those moments forged.
And here I am, an imperfect man living an average life, ruining my jeans in the mud.  It is so easy to lose the fervor in life.  Dragging myself up in the morning of a day that fades to a week and then bleeds out to months.  How is it that I find the highlight of a day being the TV show at 9:00?
My knee sank deeper into the cool earth and the water saturated the denim.  I heard a small scuffle in the dirt on the ledge over my head.  I looked up and saw a small girl, Jessica holding a stuffed animal.  She had a shy smile on her face as she gazed at the giraffe.  She saw me and I made a goofy face at her.  Her shy smile bloomed into an incredible grin.  She began to turn side to side as she held her prize and absolutely beamed at him.
Suddenly my perspective again realigned.  Hold that line.  Be steadfast.  Those who look on at us while we work, while we live, while we drag through the day to day…those are the ones for which I must have an iron heart.
Eyes are watching us.  We can make a difference when we have focus…when we are aware of the significance while we hold the line.
As for my jeans, they are now my favorite.

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