Our Guatemalan days have been filled with intensities, simplicities and thought-provoking interactions. We’ve been asked to find kindnesses, Christ, each other … To see boundaries, impossibilities and courage … I knew this trip would include these things. The heart-aching challenges and miscommunications but also hospitality and generosity that is rarely seen anymore in other places.
Delight, however, was a sentiment that I did not expect.
To delight is one of the greatest forms of praise that we can offer to Our Father in Heaven. It is a thanksgiving, an appreciation an act of both the heart and the will that guides us to a place where we know God’s presence is real and felt.
Today was especially delightful as we guided yellow-filled paintbrushes across the outer walls of Clinica Maxena. Accompanied by a number of the clinic’s local employee’s and their children, and their children’s friends we worked in a cacophany of laughter, broken spanish phrases and discussions about how best to remove spider webs and reach seemingly unreachable corners. Reach them we did and in the process a sincere delight began to reach across our faces.
It was awesome to do something for the clinic. It was a gift to use our hands. But the greatest gift wasn’t in the job being done and the impressive result of a new coat of paint. The gift was in the sheer delight of the process.
We had one section left as we reached the height of hunger and heat in early afternoon. A new friend, Tony, who is studying English in school, Jen and myself were working to complete the wall quickly before we suddenly just slowed down to start to enjoy the moment. I started asking him questions in Spanish, and he would answer them in both English and Spanish. When he and his friends started to laugh at us, and I chided back at them in Spanish … much to their surprise and embarrassment. The work went quicker the more we laughed and as we finished I painted C.T.K y C.M. (for “Christ the King and Clinica Maxena”) onto a cement ledge at the side of the building. Jen added, “2016” and we all stamped our handprints near the ledge.
Projects are best done together. Projects are quicker with laughter and communication and the chance to slow down and delight in what we each bring to the table, broken Spanish and English phrases to boot!
God bless you and thank you for your prayers. The need here is great but so is the opportunity to delight and feel the presence of Christ.
To journey beyond your expectations of yourself and others is to find delight in the presence of God.
la paz y la bondad