When you go on a trip like this or any trip really, you often forget about what is going on at home, and maybe that is the way it should be. Forgotten is today’s tax deadline and that many will burn the midnight oil to file on time. Forgotten is the political ring into which hats are being tossed. Forgotten are things such as bill due dates, hair appointments, bus schedules, etc. All the things that keep us absorbed on a daily basis are foreign here in this foreign country. We have become absorbed instead in the people, culture and amazing scenery. We are falling in love day after day, over and over again. Just when you think you couldn’t possibly have any more love to give, a new day brings new people to love.
Today’s village of Cerro Azul was a village that was easy to love. Not only were the people beautiful but the setting was beautiful, too. The school building was very nice with several rooms and a covered common area that had a tiled floor. The road leading up to the school was flanked by a gushing stream that flowed over large boulders. Rushing water flowed beside us as the love of Christ flowed to and from those who were present throughout the day. Isn’t that just like the love of Christ? Gushing. Overflowing. Ever-flowing. Flowing over the rough places and through the hard to reach places. It continues to flow no matter what obstacles are in its path bringing beauty, refreshment and cleansing to anyone who believes.
Three crosses given in love show the power of God’s love to move us to reach outside of ourselves. Deedee gave her cross to a young girl who was in pain following an ear irrigation. She said she felt badly for her and wanted her to know that the love of God was greater than her pain. Deedee knew God had chosen this girl for this moment because she found out from the aunt who brought her that her father had been murdered recently and the mother was not in her life. Deedee also gave her gold cross necklace, a gift from long-time FOB supporter and friend, Mary Bray, to the aunt. Indeed, the love of God is greater than our pain.
Jennifer’s heart was drawn to a 95 year old man. She said he looked like life had been hard and, yet; he greeted her cheerily with brightened eyes. At first, she hesitated to give it to him, but followed the prompting of the Holy Spirit to seek him out and bless him. It was a sweet moment to watch unfold. This man must have witnessed many things during his years on earth, but I’m pretty sure this was a first for him, and it was a first for Jennifer, too. God’s love transcends language and generations.
I gave my cross to a 10 year old girl who had an eye injury 6 years ago and now has a painful blind eye. She was happy to receive a pair of sunglasses in the eye clinic. I gave her my cross and told her that I thought she was beautiful and Jesus thinks she is beautiful too. She became my constant companion for the rest of the day and it was difficult to say good-bye. God’s love was reflected in one of the “least of these.”
It is humbling to be a channel of God’s love, but that is what He wants for each of us. It is an upside down thought to give away what you have been given; loving generously with open hearts and open hands. How does that make any sense? In man’s eyes it doesn’t, but for God this is the only way to live. We are called to live sacrificially, laying down our lives for others so that they may know the love of God too.