Last week was dark – this week I saw light again. Not a floodlight by any means, but a tiny glimmer – which is enough to reignite the needed hope to keep moving.
Yesterday Grant and I drove back to Valle de Banderas and we went to the home of the Grandma of the sweet little girls who were the cause of our despair last week. And they were there! Dressed, clean, hair brushed – and reaching out arms for hugs. They stood back at first, not really sure if we could be trusted. But as soon as I called their names and reached out my arms, they were in them. Kisses. “Te Amo” (I Love You). It’s still a difficult situation. The home is tiny, Grandma is poor – but for today they are safe and in a home with family who loves them.
Seeing these girls, and a bunch of weeds, taught me an important lesson today. 18 months ago, my friend Bernie and I were working with Team Restore and Veronica asked us to plant some plants outside of Casa Hogar. What seemed like it would be an easy job was anything but. We started with small garden shovels and moved up to pick axes. The ground was hard as rock. No, it WAS rock. We laughed through the whole job – there is NO WAY any plant is going to grow in this dirt. We could not see any hope at all that these plants would take root or bloom in this heat and among these rocks. NO WAY.
Fast forward to yesterday. As we drove up to Casa Hogar we saw some of the boys outside doing chores. They were weeding the overgrown garden. Not only had the plants we planted taken root, they had grown out of control. The rock had produced life – in spite of our prediction of certain death.
So what do those weeds have to do with 2 little girls in Valle de Banderas? Life here looks very dark some days. I don’t always see how life and love can exist in a community that is poor, broken, addicted and hungry. But I am beginning to realize that I am shortsighted and maybe I give up way too soon. Last week I saw no hope for these girls – the same way I felt about those plants – but I planted anyway and this week I recognized an overgrowth of green leaves, and a 2 tiny smiles. Love grows in hard soil and the tiniest light banishes darkness. So I am going to keep on planting, to keep loving and hugging and feeding and let God’s love soften the rocky soil and produce the light. And from time to time, I might just grab a pick axe and do some damage!