This week was our first week of teaching at the schools in La Limonada. There, I have experianced some of the most beautiful things I have ever seen along with the most heartbreaking.
The beauty I see is everywhere. The children sure know how to light up a room. They are the most beautiful out of all of God’s creation. With voices singing songs of joy and praises to the living God, to art projects that reflect God’s ever present nature, this week was filled with joyful things. From the babies to the older ones, each child brought thier own unique gift into the room.
I loved being with the kids this week. It was both rewarding and exahusting. I was able to sing songs with and talk with the children about thier lives and about who God is to them. Though the language barrier was a challenge, I was still able to hopefully bring joy to those kids through plenty of smiles and warm embraces. One of my leaders posted this morning about how the true beauty of Guatemala can not only be seen in the volcanos but mainly in the voices and smiles of the children. I would also add I see the beauty in everyone else I’ve had the please of meeting.
One of the hardest things I think I’ve seen this trip happened yesterday when a kid got beaten up by a gang and was nearly left for dead. That brought such grief and anguish to my soul. Seeing the pain the boy was in and me being helpless in the matter left me wondering where God was in the slum of La Limonada. I wondered how he could allow such violence to happen daily. The gang violence in the slum simply happens because the gangs claim territory. How this boy could be beaten simply by walking to school left me beyond words. Where was God and why didn’t he stop it was the question that consumed my mind.
Throughout the week I also heard stories from these children of violence. I heard stories of death. I heard stories of much pain. All of it was all too much. These kids, these beautiful children, were growing up in a place that left them having a hard time closing thier eyes at times because all they could see was evil things. Once again, where is God in this slum?
After some time of processing, I think I found the answer to my questions. God doesn’t like when bad things happen. The bad things happen because we live in a broken world under the curse of sin. God does not delight in the violence. In fact, he grieves over it. Three words kept repeating in my mind yesterday from one of the songs we sing with the children, “Dios es amor” which means “God is love”. God is love and he loves everyone in La Limonada, from the children to the gang members, he died for all of them. He desires each and every one of them to be saved. Dios es amor. How could I be so blind to that fact? How could I question the God of the universe when I had already seen so much of his beauty reflected in those children and in his creation?
Dios es amor. God is still good, even when bad things happen. How can we blame God for the work of the emeny? Dios es amor. God already saved the world. He has already won. What I can desire is for God to come quickly and reclaim this earth and make it new once again. God is good. God is love. Forever and ever amen.
God made the beauty and he won the the war.