Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Ordinary People

Recently, while still in the US, I attended a dinner party.  The attendees were new to me and, happily, very interested in LAMB.  I was gushing about one of our program leaders (I won't name names because it could have been any of them!)  I described [person] as very intelligent, creative, full of energy and commitment.  I described the accomplishments of the program and the leadership of [person.]  I also revealed the typical salaries of professionals in our ministry (ranging from $330 - less than $600 a month!)  One of my dinner companions asked, "It sounds like [person] could make much more money elsewhere."  (I nodded my assent.)  "Why does [person] work there?"  I blinked and looked quizzically.  This question had never entered my mind although it is certainly true that [person] could make double or triple elswhere.  The answer was so obvious to me that I had to give my brain time to get the words to my mouth.  "Because [person] wants to serve God."

The above description fits all of our Honduran employees, all 68 (mas o menos) of them.  Day in and day out I am humbled by them.  From one perspective you could say they live and work in the midst of darkness and difficulty.  There is violence, crushing poverty, abuse, oppression all around them.  To most Americans, they seem poor.  Only a couple own cars, a handful know how to drive.  Most of them live in Flor del Campo or surrounding  neighborhoods.  Places that many Hondurans won't visit day or night.  They work unbelievable hours for very low salaries.  (The Tias at the Childrens' Home work 24 hrs/6 days a week.)  

And yet... they are so filled with love, faith and joy.  They take time out of their busy lives to encourage each other.  Prayer is their instinctive response to any and everything.  They laugh easily, tease each other, sing, and share whatever they have.  I have never seen them yell or say a cross word to anyone.  They drop everything when someone is in need.  I am a better person when I am around them.  Mother Teresa said: 

There is a light in this world, a healing spirit more powerful than any darkness may encounter. We sometimes lose sight of this force when there is suffering, too much pain. Then suddenly the spirit will emerge through the lives of ordinary people who hear a call and answer in extraordinary ways. 

They are all so young.  They are ordinary people doing extraordinary things,  bringing light to countless people, through the sweat of the brow, love in their hearts, and the inspiration of the Holy Spirit.  My ordinary brothers and sisters, what extraordinary things will we do?

Join me in a prayer of thanksgiving for these extraordinary ordinary people, pictured and unpictured...