Sunday, April 10, 2011

GUATEMALA 2010-It’s All In the Walk

Antigua Cross

Antigua Wall and Mortar
My feet crossed the stone and mortar roads that have gone unchanged as the centuries have swept by.  Clouds blended quietly into mist and mountaintop as the rain ran off the brim of my faithful rollup hat.  I paused to feel the brick and rock wall pressed under my open palm and strained to sense the countless souls who had passed that same ground, and then I pressed a little harder as if to pay respect to the work-hardened hands that once combined skill and determination to raise that wall.
Antigua Wall FlowerMy thoughts sparked memories in my head.  As I listened to the sound of my boots scuffling on those stones I became aware of my walk.  The sounds of thunder, the smell of hibiscus flowers, and the wonder of the smoke-ringed volcano peering through the void of the ancient arch, all these captivated my being.  I knew that this moment was seared into my consciousness.  I felt the power of this walk, and my mind flashed on walks I had taken on days past.
Walks that had changed my life: walking down the aisle to wed my wife, walking while pulling a Radio Flyer wagon with my laughing baby boy, walking down a Soviet era cinder block hallway to meet the smiling face of my daughter for the first time, and recently walking the walk of a man who must face his giants.
I felt truth in those walks.  Each of them forged a piece of my soul.  And as I walked down that Guatemalan street I felt the shift in my heart that signaled another moment.
The warm rain continued to drip from my hat as I was lost in thought.
A day later I observed another walk as I stood at the back of a Guatemalan Church.  I observed the walk of those who knew their purpose and were aware of their blessings.  I am still filled with wonder when I recall the look on their faces.  Faces that reflected a sincere honesty, and truth that stopped my walk face down in the dirt.
God was here.  They recognized Him and that realization had changed everything.  They had given all that they had to build a place to worship.  Their hands had built this place, their songs filled its space.  They were invested and they were exactly where they wanted to be. They entered the doorway with joy evident on their faces and began to give thanks and commit again to God.
I had not seen such a true walk as this.  The beauty of their worship outshone the majesty of the volcanic sky and the history of the beveled streets.  The God that created it all had been welcomed in the walk of this congregation.  And this walk had changed everything.
Of all the wonder I have encountered in this place, nothing compared to the walk.

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