This picture from my trip to Guatemala over a year ago is so simple yet continues to provoke many thoughts and emotions.
One may be and probably should be saddened by the dirt and grime that covers this young girl and her only toy. One may be and probably should be convicted by the many possessions Americans have stored up compared to this one baby doll she owns. One may be and probably should be upset that she is living in such a poor community in relation to our society's wealth and resources.
Yet when I see this picture I can't help but feel an overwhelming joy and sense of peace.
Before my trip I would see pictures like this of kids and families all over the world experiencing the depths of poverty seemingly living with no hope. However from my experience, and to my experience alone do I speak, the opposite is actually true.
Rich with love for their beloved community, filled with joy for the simplest of things, and living out their faith with all of their hearts, souls, minds, and strengths.. this is what I experienced from the Guatemalans I came to love.
While much of the developed 'Western' world would feel guilty and shamed by this picture, I see so much grace. Grace for the day, for this is how Guatemalans live. Truly present, truly invested, truly grateful for every little detail of life, truly devoted to their faith.
I believe there are values to learn from all cultures and all people, including our own. My desire is that we can learn from the rich and simplistic life of faith these beautiful people are leading rather than the circumstances and lack of possessions that too often define them in comparison to ours.
May we incorporate such simplicity even in little aspects of our everyday lives and experience joy over everything from the tiniest of moments to the biggest blessing.
Labels: God, Guatemala, reflections, simplicity