We took a walk in Moca a few days ago. We strolled down paths that were dry and seemingly safe. The river that runs through the community was muddy, but peaceful. It actually appeared to be composed and amicable.
Truthfully, it was hard to believe that such a harmonious component of God’s creation could cause the turbulence it generated a few days ago.
As we trudged on through the recently hurricane wrecked village, some of the people explained, “I’ve lived here my entire life and I’ve never seen anything like this.”
It was difficult for me to accept.
The smooth, gentle water destroyed homes and ravished livelihoods of so many innocent dwellers just a few days ago. It rose several feet high with supernatural strength and swept away anything that collided with its path.
Homes, trees, farms, animals-the sustenance of life; was all gone in an instant.
As they all took turns to share their stories, my heart melted. Life, of late, has given me so many reasons to insist upon an icy heart, but it began to thaw as I took notice of my surroundings.
They sure had more reasons than me to complain, yet they all constantly thanked God for keeping them alive during the storm. They met death, yet safely parted. They valued their lives and the lives of their family and friends more than their loss. They have a true understanding of life’s worth.
Strangely, no one asked me for anything. They simply wanted to give God thanks for sparing them. They sure did a work on me!
As we began our adventure, I noticed one of our Moca church family’s crossing the river to get home. The bridge was knocked out during the storm and they had no other choice but to get wet in order to come to church. Mom, dad and baby had to walk through a river to get to church.
Let. It. Sink. In
I know that you and I have suffered too. I’ve been through quite a few things in life, but walking my family through a river to get to church has not yet made it my list of suffering. How about you?
We continued our journey. We wanted to visit our members who were affected by the storm. We wanted to reassure them of our love for them as they suffered.
The trek to their homes was an eye opener for me. They faithfully take this journey more than once a week to worship God at our church.
Despair doesn’t stop them.
Discouragement didn’t turn them away.
They have to rebuild their lives with scarce tools, yet they carried on in stride.
The children collected avocados to sell. They still have hope.
When they were done gathering the fruit from the fallen tree, they played as children do. They remembered that there are still reasons to laugh-even when your house is washed away by a storm.
All of this has caused me to ponder upon life differently. Introspection leads my way lately.
What really matters? What am I striving for anyway? Why do I work so hard?
My husband’s recent sermon series lingers in my heart and in my mind right now. “There is a time for everything,” he confidently tells our churches, “…a time to laugh, a time to cry…”
His repeated words of the wise man beat within my heart tonight.
What am I doing with my time? How have I helped those who are crying today?
As he continues to read from the book of Ecclesiastes, my heart pounds and pauses for a second, “…for He (God) has placed eternity in the hearts of man…”
My goal, my passion, my reason for being, my all should be focused on eternity as I walk through each moment in time. I think that our Moca friends understand that truth.
Their hearts are set on eternity.
They painlessly accepted their reality. They took God’s word to heart and faced their “time” with courage.
“Oh Lord, make me more like them,” was really all I could say as I walked away.
The river glided along in its peaceful fashion and life continued as usual. But I left that place with a new heart that’s ever so more determined to make every moment count and to make each occasion stretch into eternity.