A broken soul is not the absence of beauty, but a cracked and torn soul reeks of the sweet incense it contains. ~C. JoyBell C.
The ravine sits at the end of a dirt road on the outskirts of Chimaltenango. Every day, families come to dig through the mountain of garbage in search of hope. Generations have worked the dump like a farmer works a field. They look for anything that might be transformed into a little money for food and shelter. Vultures try to stake their claim, and feral dogs fight for scraps while hands dig through the stench of refuse. Small children, sun-weathered mothers and silver-haired grandfathers move quietly in the patchwork quilt of someone else’s nothing to find something.
They see with eyes that see the more.
They are fearless in finding value. They redeem broken things, restore shattered things, save things others declare worthless. There is no bird of prey that can keep them away, no beast of the field that can rob them of their purpose.
We breathed in the fragrance of the ravine. It was the incense of grateful prayer of to a most beautiful and powerful God All-Mighty. Because he also digs through the stench of refuse. He sees with eyes that see the more. He redeems broken things, restores shattered things, saves things other declare worthless. Nothing is too hard for him. No one is beyond transformation.
Even the families that for generations have struggled in the ravine can find their value in Him. That incense of grateful prayer sweetly embraces each one through the kindness of a small group of people hungry to feed those who are hungry. Every week, Cesar and Carol and their God-crafted family of orphan girls distribute food, share the Good News, and pray for those who are hurting or lonely. They also spend time teaching the children of the ravine how to read and write. And soon a school will open just a short walk down the dirt road – a school that will most certainly lovingly instruct a future leader of Guatemala.
They invited us in this week – an invitation to be hands and feet in feeding and prayer. But it was more. It was an invitation to be the eyes of the families of the ravine, and to be seen with eyes that see the more. It was an invitation to be the patchwork of the somebody’s nothing, and to be reminded that we each are God’s something. It was an invitation to feel His hands reach fearlessly to redeem, restore and save us. Yes, even us.
What makes a genius? The ability to see. To see what? The butterfly in a caterpillar, the eagle in an egg, the saint in a selfish person, life in death, unity in separation, God in the human and human in God and suffering as the form in which the incomprehensibility of God himself appears. ~Brennan Manning
Thanks to Orphan Outreach for the opportunity to minister to widows, orphans, and the discarded in Guatemala.