Sunday, April 13, 2014

Love is Face to Face.

The children of a family in Labor de Falla for whom the Roh family built an ONIL Stove.

Being in a third world country provides perspectives that constantly slap me in the head. It isn't better or worse, it's just so blatantly different. Building ramps and elevators and lift chairs are undoubtably good things, however these are answers that a wealthy nation provides. I am intensely aware however that there are also other answers.

I have been repeatedly humbled by compassion that has no support of technology or dollars. Sometimes I think money and modern convenience becomes a substitute for the type of compassion that occurs when we press skin to skin and get down face to face. 

My Mammaw is in the final years of her life right now at 86 and she is afflicted with dementia. It is painful for me to know of her suffering and yet to be so far away. Sometimes I have my uncle or mother hold the computer above her face so I can see her. She smiles at me and laughs as she forms the sound of my name with a deliberate effort. I smile each time with tears running down my face, marveling at how she still can remember my face and name. She has forgotten so much. My mom talks about painting her fingernails and helping her remember brighter days.

Compassion for the handicapped or the poor is not optional for Christ followers. A simple walk down the road here provides me with encounters of those who are missing limbs. Some slide on small wheeled carts, others drag their bodies along the dirt. They all have hands reaching out.

I have passed them by on occasion... and then I find myself running back to place a coin in their hand... and taking the time to make some sort of physical contact. The eye contact or the touch of a hand seems to mean more to that person the the few coins tossed quickly in a bowl.

I have a friend who sits down beside the broken and spends his day. That is simply something he does. Compassion and loving those whose bodies or minds are broken requires so much more of us that a chair that lifts or a few bucks tossed at their shattered lives.

It is recognizing that they are creations of God.

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