Mexico - 2011, Travel

Love…

Fernanda drawing a heart around our names

In my opinion…

Language is so, or atleast can be, overrated.

How many times are friendships ruined, relationships hurt, and people confused by language. Language. It can be a blessing, but sometimes, I think language can be a curse. People who don’t mind their tongues, or only use their words to hurt. People who say things they don’t mean, or do mean. People don’t connect – unless they talk, or understand each other. They seem so wasted sometimes…words.

Don’t get me wrong, I love words, and being able to communicate just as much as the next person. But I realized something this past week, and that’s that language, is sometimes, overrated.

When I left for Mexico, I had a list of fears that stretched a mile long. Or longer. I worried (no joke) that my luggage bag would be too big. That I wouldn’t get along with the people I was traveling with. That no one would like me. That I wouldn’t be able to communicate with the kid I got in Mexico. That it would be a waste of time. And finally, that I would have to go through the X-ray machine at the airport.  I had a fear for every leg of the trip.  Probably a fear for everyday.

God showed me a lot this past week, and in an almost comical way – one by one my fears began to drop.

Maybe not in the way I would have wanted, or thought. Maybe I didn’t get along with everyone, or agree with everything people said or did. Maybe I wasn’t the most liked person on the trip – but I learned some valuable lessons – and realized that its ok. Its ok not to go with the flow, and I dont have to be liked by everyone… I walked away with a few moments where I just had to smile – knowing it was Gods hand working.

But the one thing that struck me the most – was the language.

I went to Mexico knowing a few words. I was not, and am not, fluent in Spanish. I am pretty much a babbling baby when it comes to Spanish. I can say hi and bye. I can say beach, and shells (new words to me) and I can say good morning, good afternoon, and good evening – although I might not say them at the most appropriate time. And last week, I learned a new Spanish name.

But I walked away with 15 new friendships. With kids who I couldn’t even speak their language. When we left, I felt like I was leaving behind my best friends. Family. People who I loved and cared for, perhaps more than I even care for some of my own family.

And no one will really understand that.

How? How can you love someone so deeply that you cry when you leave – when you cant even tell them that? I don’t know how…

But it was done.

There were connections made, friendships and bonds formed, relationships happened.

Language.  Speaking with only words.  It is so overrated.

Im a fan of the sayings “A picture speaks louder than words” and “Actions speak louder than words”

Just because we couldn’t speak each others language, didn’t mean a thing to the kids, or us. We smiled, we laughed, we cried. They knew what we meant, we knew what they meant – most of the time atleast. We went to be “The arms of love for Jesus” and in a way, I think they showed us HOW to do that.

To love. Unconditionally, perhaps even giving unwarranted love. Love without expectation, without bounds. Just love. Pure and simple love, that only a child, who cant even speak your language can give.

There were times, I really wondered if I was doing any good for this child. She really didn’t seem that bad off. She had a family, friends, she was happy, she was loving, kind, funny kid who loved life. But seeing her love – love me, love her siblings, love the other people there…

It made me wonder.

And realize.

I love, with condition.

She loved unconditionally.

I love, with expectation, if I FEEL like it.

She loved because it was in her heart.

I learned a lot this week. She taught me without knowing, without words. But from her heart. How to love, unconditionally, and how to be the “Arms of love for Jesus”

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