Tuesday, August 2, 2011

GUATEMALA 2011: (6) Truth, Lies, and a Dare.

Do you see the story that I have to tell?

I wear a few pieces of flair: My wedding band that is a symbol of a lifelong walk together with my ever loving and patient wife, a random stainless steel ring that I simply like, a bicycle chain style bracelet that I hope adds a little character to my otherwise small wrist, a stainless steel necklace with a cross, a stainless steel Movado watch that Kellie bought me as an anniversary gift, a set of earrings that I usually remove while at my place of employment (I occasionally forget... like when I recently introduced myself to our new Vice President... yeah, that's another story) and a tattered cotton woven bracelet.

It has been on my wrist for a year now. Don't worry, I wash it every day... I assure you, I am a clean person. I have held scissors to it on three separate occasions and I can not cut it off. I think the weave is directly blended into my heart.

Last year after landing in Guatemala City we loaded our suitcases into a pickup (White Lightening, I believe) and made our way to Mimi's House. We splashed some water on our faces and bounced along mountain passes in a van to Antigua.

There were many beautiful and exquisite sites there (volcanoes, cathedral ruins, real human remains visible in crypts, the famous archway, the stone buildings and incredible streets... oh I am carried away in the moment... I can even hear the sounds and smell the food), but there is a singular memory that overshadows all the others.

A young girl handed me a woven bracelet. It was white and black. Simple and perfect. I didn't have on my rings and bracelet and chain... but it would match them perfectly. So much like the entire trip... the circumstances that I found myself in-- fit me like a glove. It was an experience custom made to meet me where I needed to be found. I sit here typing and am again overwhelmed. My God found me where I was. He has not let me go.

I must confess... I have lied to a great many people (it was just simpler that way). The lie: I tell them that a beautiful girl in the market at Antigua put it on my wrist and that I do not have the heart to remove what she placed there. The truth: a beautiful little girl in the market at Antigua gave it to me and I was emotionally overwhelmed with the moment, the sights, my own exhaustion and feelings of inadequacy and I quickly shoved it in my pocket.

I don't share with them that I kept it on my pillow and that I looked at it each night before I went to bed. I don't share with them that at the end of the week Kellie and I were absolutely grief stricken and devastated to leave Mimi's House. Our hearts were seized. We felt so alive and connected to our faith, our beliefs, the people, and the mission. We simply felt

There is so much fakeness in the world today... and we had encountered genuine living.

In that place... action measured up to stated belief. Weaknesses and strengths alike were bared. We had all shared tears of exhaustion and we had shared tears of un-ending joy.

The final day we were to leave... Kellie and I tied the bracelets on each other. I think it was as significant as the day we slipped on our wedding rings. We knew this was a promise. We knew we must return. We knew that we wanted our lives to reflect the change that had happened in our souls. In mine for sure.

But... to people who ask, this is simply too much for me to tell. And so, they get the lie that is filled with truth. Go ahead and judge me. I dare you.

Last October, after being back home for two months, our church sent a second team back to Mimi's House (like they will this year) and I recognized that my bracelet was getting very worn. So, I requested to a friend that he bring me back another... and he did. Larry brought me 20. 


the 20 bracelets have sat on the mantle in our bedroom ever since. I simply can not bring myself to remove the bracelet that my wife tied on my wrist that perfect Guatemalan evening on the porch of Mimi's House in the shadow of Pacaya, under that endless sky.

I look down even now at the frayed weaves on my wrist and I smile. Throughout the past year I have had some tough moments... who hasn't? But I can tell you with complete transparity that in those moments I have felt the weaves on my wrist... I have taken them between the thumb and index finger of my left hand and I have held them. I have remembered the face of the beautiful girl who handed us the bracelets, and I remember the moment that my beautiful wife and I renewed our vows...

...in the yard of Mimi's House. 

To my friends at Mimi's House... please know that you have our devotion for all time.

To my family... know that if I can ever find a way to be there full time... I will be there.

We seek to follow the straight path of the God who holds us in his hand. I can only believe that he also has a tattered bracelet on his wrist. All I can tell you is that my core of who I am as a person was awakened during that week on those mountainsides in Guate. 

So please click the link and make a commitment if you have not yet grown tired of my words...

Because for the rest of my life... I will be asking you to do so.

<< click HERE

Seriously... make a forever difference in the life of a girl. You will be forever changed.
Are you tough enough to really allow yourself to LOVE?

Try it for a year. If it doesn't change your life... I will personally take over the commitment.

Find your belief.

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