Friday, June 8, 2012

GUATEMALA 2012: (14) Carved In My Soul

Day Four ~ Complete

We first heard of him two weeks before our journey. Flavio had severe diabetes and a family that depended on him. His last attack nearly killed him, placing him in a coma. Our group brought him a Glucometer and an expansive supply of test strips. His family also received one of the four houses that we built. My uncle Stephen was telling him farewell as we loaded the bus on this final day of being the village. He told Stephen, “thank you so much, for me this is already heaven.”

We have talked a great deal among our group about perspective. What do we really need to be fulfilled and to achieve happiness? What is our purpose in life? How can it be that a chronically ill man living in a desolate shanty town high on a mountain in Guatemala can be so grateful for what he has… while so many who have so much more… simply grumble, fret, and fuss?

We handed the keys over to our family and walked through the door of their new home with them. We had worked alongside them all week. I had spun their children in the air, climbed trees with them, danced with them, and fed them several pounds of candy and granola. As they walked in to their new bedroom, I was overcome with emotion as Luis and his little sister both began to tremble and cry.  Do you have any memories of getting a new room, or a new house?

What if the only house you had ever known was constructed of mud bricks and corn stalks?

This was the home for the family of five. A single bed, and a small room with a scrap roof. I thought of my own family of five, and noticed the family pictures hanging on the wall above the bed. I began to consider what it would mean for my family to live here with these conditions.

It was then that I realized something significant… it is arrogance that assumes that my life is better than theirs. How is it that I continue to rate quality of life in terms of possessions, belongings, comfort, and security? How is it that I still worry about food and health and the safety of my children?

The belief that I profess says that I am to cast all my cares on God, that my treasure is in heaven, and that I will live forever in paradise. I have to wonder if a lifetime in adobe and corn stalks would better open my eyes to the reality of this life.

Carved in the tree above the home years ago, "Dios te amo"
Have I become so comfortable that I can’t see that my inheritance is already here? I have been adopted by God and He has called me His own. No matter what the circumstance of my life, if I am His child, held in His arms… then yes, this is my heaven.

I come back to the same place… accountability for my time, and do my actions and attitude reconcile with my belief? From the perspective of God, does the way I live my life show evidence that I love my neighbor as myself? Does it show that I love God?

I will never forget walking down the dirt path after completing our home today. Caleb and I walked with Luis, the little boy from our home between us, each of us with one of his small hands in our own. We made monkey sounds, jumped around, and laughed. The way he looked at us was worth everything that it took to get there... and worth more than any possession I have ever had. We think we have treasures in life... but they are nothing when compared to the deep love that comes from fulfilling our true purpose.

Created by God to fellowship with God. Separated from God by sin, reconciled to God by the sacrifice of His son. Able to show others the way.

Simple stuff. To every one, a day is appointed to die. So, let’s start living.

Change your world...wherever you may be.

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