I could use my first post in 2-ish months to talk about last week’s trip to Guatemala in all the ways you might expect. I could tell you how I ended up as the only female on a team of a dozen. I could tell you why we went. I could rave about the yummy food…the amazing scenery…the incredible culture. I could talk about what we did, and what objectives we accomplished. I could tell you how good it was to reunite with older friends, as well as to make new ones. I could tell you just how much I have to contemplate and process, and just how soon I want to go again.
For now, though, I will simply tell one story. Somewhere around Wednesday, I was asked by one of the school directors if I wanted to walk with some of the little kids in a parade on Friday. My default answer to new experiences being “Why not?” I accordingly tagged along to the center of town Friday morning.
It might as well have been Thanksgiving in NYC. I could see my comfort zone disappearing in the rearview mirror when I realized that tons of people lined the streets to hear the bands, score some candy, and watch pretty much every pre-primary class in the district walk by. It evaporated entirely as one of the teachers approached me with a blue-and-white sash…and a tiara.
I had plenty of time to think as I strolled the streets for the next hour or two with a couple of shy little senoritas in tow. I felt wildly out of place – I looked as tired as I felt, my hair was a lost cause as I had decided to travel sans hairdryer, and in addition to jeans and hoodie I had chosen that day of all days to wear my Vibrams. (Judging by the number of photographs taken of just my shoes, such funky-looking feet do not often tread the streets of Ostuncalco.) I admit, to my shame, that I also thought that I ought to actually be doing something useful instead – ya know, hefting a bag of concrete or something back at the construction site.
I am profoundly thankful that the Lord began to superimpose His perspective in short order. I focused on the kids, many of them materially poor in ways we state-siders cannot imagine, and marveled at their beautiful outfits purchased just for this special day. I saw the pride that beamed from their parents’ faces as we passed the sidewalks. And I nearly wept as we walked, when I realized how much it represented so many bigger things.
So I look at the photo below, and I choose not to focus on the messy ponytail, the dark circles, a face that doesn’t feel beautiful, the idle hands, or the slightly frivolous nature of the situation. I see hope for a bright future in this community. I remember lavished love and honor undeserved. I glimpse transformation. I marvel at a Father who longs to delight in His children. I perceive daughters of the King.