In the morning, I was frustrated... I was impatient...
My children were loud. They were not cooperating. I was annoyed.
In the afternoon, I was frustrated... I was impatient...
I walked across town in my black pants and black shirt... Funeral appropriate, but hardly comfortable in the 90 degree heat. I chose the wrong shoes, and now my feet were hurting. I was whining...to myself. I was annoyed.
Why was I even going? I hardly know her. I don't like funerals. I don't have the language skills to be of any comfort or support. Why do they do funerals so quickly anyway? I hardly had time to change and get there...
And then reality...
A tattered, wooden fence... a dirt yard... a small, sparsely furnished home with chickens and ducks in the yard...
"How dare I?!" I screamed inside myself... How dare I think so much of myself to be inconvenienced by someone else's loss?!
I am ashamed of myself. I entered the house (even though I didn't want to) where the tiny coffin sat on a table. She sat in a chair nearby, her eyes swollen from her grief. I hugged her. What else could I do? We cried together, and I whispered the only words I had in her language... "lo siento"
I screamed again inside myself, "Why haven't you learned this language any better?!"
In the past six months, this woman has faced more than I have faced in my entire life... Her mother was murdered. Her father was beaten. Her husband left her. And now, her precious six-month old baby boy, suddenly gone.
And I had the nerve to complain, even if only to myself, about the heat...about the inconvenience of hiking across town in uncomfortable shoes...
I watched, and I cried as she begged him to wake up...as she denied the reality of it all... I wished, for her, that it really could all be a dream... that he really was just sleeping... that this wasn't real.
I went home to a house full of loud, uncooperative children.
She went home with only her daughter left--a child that needs comforting as much as her mother does.
Father, would you be the comfort they need?
Lord God, let me not continue on in my selfishness and shallowness! Let me be your hands and feet, no matter how inconvenient it may be.
"Show me Your ways, Lord, teach me your paths." Psalm 25:4
Labels: Ecuador, ministry