Our day was a productive day in the mountain village, nothing out of the usual from the surface… It can be difficult to rewrite the same events and find some way to add a little spice to them so that the reader comes back for more. It seems that most everyone knows that I like to write this with a lot of humor and double secret code words, but I do want to recount a particular highlight of the day. Yes we ate a wonderful breakfast, yes Juan Pablo too us on adventuresome ride up the hill, yes we made Mook, laid blocks, and sweated like a race horse, but there is more to share than just the usual report.
I or should I say we the team have taken notice to a young Honduran man though we do not know his age, but we do know his name… Jose. He is different in many respects, yes he is a hard worker, he is always waiting for someone to yell his name to bring some Mook or blocks, the menial task of being a ground man… Yet he is different. On the surface you may see someone with a disability, but Jose sees it as an opportunity… You may notice that he is undersized as compared to the other men in his village, but oh how he has a big heart… You may see others laugh at him or chastise him for the person that he is, but he never gives up and always carries a huge smile no matter how hard the task is for him to perform.
There was a time during the day that I yelled for him to get me something while I was on the death trap 3000 v 3.0 scaffolding, he took off running to get another bucket of Mook and as he rounded the corner he lost his footing and slammed the ground. I heard chuckles for the other locals as he dusted himself off and brought me the materials to continue laying the blocks. There he stood below me, huffing and puffing from carrying the 70 pound bucket and hoisting it over his head to me… He just stood there, panting and waiting… He is different you see. Rather than seeking a shady spot to hide from the relentless sun, he just stood there gazing at me, awaiting my next request.
God is in the details and He can teach us so much if we are willing to open our eyes to see. Jose’s peers only saw the broken and flawed surface of a young man who at no fault of his own was different… I saw a child of God who was willing to do whatever it took to help his community build and remodel a Kindergarten/Medical Center… I thought about that moment for the rest of the day as we worked. How often have I only taken someone for what I see on the surface? Did I treat them with more or less respect? Did I avoid them because I was uneasy about their limitations??? How would you react if confronted with this situation? For the rest of the day, every time I asked Jose to hand me a block or bring me something and someone else rushed to do the same thing to mock him, I used the materials that he brought me and always shared a kind and encouraging word in my best broken Spanish to lift his hopes like he had lifted mine… I would like to challenge you the reader to do the same. One of my favorite expressions is to do for others in Word, Action and Deed as though Christ our Lord was standing before you… Because He already is, you just have to look beyond the surface.