So introvert can this life be. So focused on me can this culture be. So very engineered to feed my wants, and the tip of my finger able to access the world at anytime. Technology is a wonder, but the heart of man, thwart and selfish. I am a product of this culture; I'll admit. I can't escape complacency as much as I'd like to. This year has been a struggle with self, a fight against my own depression, a year of great expectations, and one of disappointments. This year has had all the ups and downs, as I'm sure yours may have had.
My saving grace was not found in the success of creating a brand new album nor
in walking into new partnerships; it’s not found in all the new promising
events of next year. No, it’s not found in those times or things.
My saving grace was found in Maria.
Maria is a 6 year old brown haired girl who lives in the slums of Peru. She showed me where she lived; we sang songs together…we played games. She never let go of my hand, unless it was to take my camera and take photos of me or her classmates. I gave her a baby doll which I think was her favorite gift! She looked up at me while we were at her school with some of her friends and asked me what my name was again. I answered, and it took her some time to get her little Peruvian tongue to say my name properly. But the moment she had it, she declared in her tiny/big voice that her baby doll shall be called "Charedmainee"!
I was honored.
We climbed so many stairs to reach her home, which was the middle level of a 3 story tiny building. As far as the eye could see her place was surrounded by buildings stacked upon one another just like hers. Her living room was also the family's bedroom and dining room. We opened up all her gifts; she was just ecstatic! To see her face light up with her gifts, was a gift to me.
Going on this trip with Compassion International has made my Maria's reality much clearer to me. I get it. She has nothing in comparison to me when it comes to money, housing, or food, and yet this little one has everything simply because she knows and will continue to know Love Himself. Of all the accomplishments this year, nothing compares to providing an opportunity for her to grow, to learn, to dream to see that Love casts out all fear and always makes a way even in the slums of Lima, Peru.
If you’re wondering, this isn't a pitch for you to sponsor a child through Compassion (If you do, that's awesome.) This is more of just me giving a glimpse of what's been on my mind. The good of this year does not compare to Maria's declaration of naming her beloved dolly after me. The bad of this year seems meaningless. She has shattered the false world I live in here in Nashvegas. The little 6 year old has opened my heart and mind to what really matters.
Love's reality is above this culture, this complacent mind, our gadgets and temporary highs and lows. Love's reality has woken me up from a deep slumber with restless dreams, to a morning filled with a light that has led me to chubby little hands that clutch mine, face to face with Maria, and by default, face to face with Him.