We are very excited - our friend Nefret is flying in tonight for a week! Somehow I am going to force myself to stay awake past 9pm to wait for her flight. This will be especially difficult if the baseball game is as boring as it was last night.
Today I again found myself learning a lesson about selflessness from my friends the street-kids. I arrived for lunch – they always seem to spot me far before I see them – and noticed they were extra giggly. We went to Metrocentro again and they excitedly asked for the camarones (shrimp) we had yesterday.
I had purchased some colored pencils yesterday which they enjoying using after we ate and practiced some English. As always, I received many beautiful pictures. I think our fridge will be covered by Tuesday at this pace! While the other kids were drawing pictures, Ninoska was quite focused on copying some sentences from a page she had brought. She was adamant about keeping her work a secret from me, telling me not to look repeatedly.
As we were about ready to leave Ninoska handed me un regalo (a gift) wrapped in a plastic bag and the note she had worked so hard on. In addition to Ninoska’s kind thank-you note the kids had brought me a pair of sunglasses. Their mother sells them to cars stopped at traffic lights, and the kids said they had all chipped in and picked out a pair. The parable of The Widow's Offering, when Jesus values the poor widow's contribution of two coins over much larger, yet not as heartfelt, offerings from the rich, came to mind.
I was so touched that these kids, who have virtually nothing, were generous enough to get me a present. Even more moving was their excitement to give it to me. I can’t help but think of much of Henri Nouwen’s writings in his journal Gracias. He repeatedly observes the simple, childlike faith held by the poor. Those without the false temptations of security, power, and importance that are inherent with wealth can often recognize truth easier. The poor are forced to face the reality of their situations without the masks of money, success, reputations, and jobs that we – I – like to turn to.
This pure, unpolluted faith is what we’re all called to seek. I was reminded of Mark 10:15 – “I tell you the truth, anyone who will not receive the