Day 18: Eden, Jamaica
All around us is the busy quiet of learning at the Jamaican Christian School for the Deaf. Every classroom is full of students – kids who have been rescued from families where abuse, neglect and slavery are a way of life. Kids who are understanding their true worth through the power of education and the Christlike love of a fierce woman named Mary. This place is called Eden. And yes, it just might be paradise.
Some of us are teaching, some are washing dishes, some are precariously perched on ladders with yellow paint that shines bright like the sun. There is not one of us who cares about makeup or fashion today. Not one of us who is working on hustles, carpool schedules, big deals or mighty plans. We are not our priority.
Today, we simply labor. Our clothing drenched in sweat, our elegance covered in dirt and enough bug spray to keep Dengue and Chikungunya mosquitos at a distance. Peanut butter and jelly with a side of cheese puffs is the only menu selection.
And we are beautiful.
Because true beauty is not found in our efforts to capture it. It is found when we abandon ourselves to the love of something greater than ourselves. We are at our best when someone else’s best becomes our joy.
So, what does your best look like?
Thank you for following my #31days project. When my computer was stolen two hours after returning to the US from Kenya, I was devastated. So many pages of writing and photos disappeared with it. But celebrating every day with the hope in old – and new – photos has removed the sting and reminded me that no one can steal our stories.
On this particular day (Tuesday, October 14, 2014), Mary said something to me that continues to shake and awaken me. “What are you waiting for?” It’s a story for another day – and it will be a story for the world.
And if you’d like to join me in Jamaica next year, check out Mission Discovery. The 2015 dates will be added soon.