Beyond The Earthly Walls of Limitation
When I decided to go to Guatemala for the first time, it was a literal leap of faith that I had made on a whim. I saw the pictures of Lake Atitlán encircled by its beautiful volcanoes, the pictures of the bustling textile markets of Panajachel, and the pictures of loving families and children who knew a busy life of work and trade, surrounded by poverty, adversity, and corruption, but empowered by gratitude, strength, and esperanza. I sat at the table with my friend and now fellow Para Servir intern and felt both a curiosity and an obligation to these people whom I didn’t even know. As a 21-year old girl with maybe a little too much empathy than is good for anybody who had never seen outside the borders of the United States, I can’t explain this any other way except that I simply had to go.
For one week, I set foot in an arena of love and generosity. Our stomachs still full of breakfast from that morning, Celestina and her family gave us soda and bread as a token of appreciation for helping to build the foundation of their new home. This struck me. This seemingly small token of appreciation must have cost them about a week’s salary… Why did they insist on giving when we were there to help them? They had so little. The obvious answer took a while to reveal itself to me: Celestina and her family acted as true representations of Christ. They gave with selflessness to those who did not necessarily deserve it. They did not know these missionaries personally, but they loved us. In a way, they loved me. They helped me see.
I need to go back. This time, for six weeks, and with the intention of using this time to focus my energy walking hand in hand with love and forming relationships with our family, the other interns, our translators, our foremen, the street market vendors who we can reliably expect to see day after day, and their niños and niñas too. I want to get a little socially uncomfortable to make effortful relationships, go a little further to push my body physically at the work site, and stretch myself emotionally and dig into myself spiritually, because I don’t think I can expect to live out what God has planned for me or even begin to represent Him unless I aim beyond the earthly walls of limitation I have set up for myself, until now.
1st year Para Servir intern