Wednesday, August 12, 2015
Priorities in a Third World Country
People ask me, after living here for 7years, if I have become blinded to the beauty that is Honduras. And the honest answer is no. Every time I drive out to the clinic in Armenia Bonito I am confronted with the amazingily beautiful mountains in front of me. I see the incredible flowers that bloom year-round, and the trees bursting with huge mangos.
However, this week brought to my attention the things that I have become blinded to. The trash...trash in third world countries is a reality. People are working so hard just to put food on their table, where their trash goes is the last thing on their priority list. Where we had clinic yesterday is right across from a common dumping ground for trash in the community:
My eyes looked right past it - it wasn't until someone on the visiting team took pictures of it that it brought it to my attention. The other thing was military and police presence. They are everywhere you look. I guess in the murder capitol of the world that is a GOOD thing - but again - until people were taking pictures and asking about the military and the police did it remind me of their presence.
So that got me to thinking. Why have I not lost the ability to see the beauty in the world, but have become blind to the trash and police/military presence? I know there is a sermon in there somewhere, but honestly, I think it has come down to priorities, and a small sense of self-preservation. Beauty makes me happy - it reminds me of the presence of God and His creation. It is uplifting...it is humbling...it is the sense of positiveness in all things, even in the darkness of living in the most murderous country in the world. Let's face it - trash is a downer. We pride ourselves in the United States about how clean we are - how orderly. Our Home Owner's Associations demand it, and we meet our obligation by keeping our grass only 1 inch high, and our trash cans off the street before the end of the day on trash day.
It's Hope. That's why I still see the beauty and not the trash. God brings Hope through His son. And that's what I want to portray to those I serve. The Hope in Him that is beauty. Trash is the thing we discard when we are done with it - it no longer serves a purpose. Police and the military are there to protect us. Once sin entered the world, the first murder occurred. Living in the most murdurous country in the world we see it or hear about it EVERY day. There are more than 300 murders a year in our own little city of La Ceiba. Man is sin. Only in the Hope that is Jesus Christ can this country come out from under the darkness it is in. So I choose to see the beauty in the world - focus on that, and not lose sight of the sin, but my priority is the light in the world, not the darkness.
p.s. One thing I have NEVER gotten "over" or become blind to is the chronic state of serious poverty here in Honduras. I think the day I do is the day I need to leave the mission field.