Thursday, February 19, 2009

Dia Cinco- The First Goodbye

I had to say my first goodbye today. Dulce is in the morning session at La Esquelita Limon and due to teachers meetings there is no morning session on Fridays. Because of this, Monica (one of the teachers and now my friend) took the class to the park so that I could spend more time with Dulce and romp around with her and the other kids.

After a wonderful time at the park, we headed back to the school, myself with sore shoulders from pushing the kids on the swings for somewhere in the ballpark of 45 minutes. At this point, I wasn't sure if I could possibly be blessed anymore on this trip. I've had an amazing time with amazing experiences that have left me forever changed. But, as life often goes, just when you think you couldn't experience anything more.. it happens. Dulce's mom shows up a few minutes early to pick her up with a gift that her and her husband had purchased for me on their extremely limited budget. Surprised. Blessed. Humbled. None of these words suffice. I couldn't even begin to thank her.

I was reminded of the story when Jesus and his disciples were in the temple. Many wealthy people entered the temple and put many coins in the offering box. Then a shabbily dressed woman enters and places in the box a few coins, worth less than a penny when combined. Jesus told the disciples that the poor woman's offering was more of a treasure than the others, because "they all gave out of their wealth; but she, out of her poverty, put in everything—all she had to live on." (Mark 12:44)

The small gift that I received from Dulce and her family was worth so much more than any gift of wealth, because I knew that they gave out of their poverty. That it was a sacrifice of greater proportion than I can imagine. It was such a consequential gift to receive. It will always be something that I treasure. Siempre.

I am in disbelief that my trip is starting to wind down. Tomorrow will be my last day in the ghetto. I honestly have a sense of dread about returning to my life of comfort. Even though I am exhausted, mentally, emotionally, in nearly every way possible, I have been so touched by my time here. Even though I have always known of the poverty in the world, living among it for a week has opened my eyes, heart, and soul to the needs of the people of the world. They are hungry. Not just physically, but spiritually. Being in a position to be able to help those needs is unbelievable. I sit here writing, with tears rolling down my cheeks. I am so blessed. I know that I will never be the same, and for that I am so thankful to my Father in heaven for that.

I wouldn't trade this time for anything in the world.


Granddad said...

I am in tears reading my baby's words.
I love you so much bambina.