Yesterday my daughter and I returned from a mission trip with our church. We were in Reynosa, Mexico, right across the border from McAllen, TX. The area we worked in is actually between the levee built up to protect Reynosa from Rio Grande floods and the river itself; an area most people would not want to live, if for no other reason than it is prone to floods. The fact that is was a garbage dump before being a community might be another reason.
I’ve thought a lot about what I wanted to remember about this trip. It’s my second time into Reynosa with our church, and although there is a lot I could say, I wanted to try to condense it down to one significant thought (ha!), so here’s my attempt.
The phrase, “the eyes of Christ”, “los ojos de Christo” is what I’m going to use as my focus point. It’s a phrase that came up as Rachel and I were visiting with the mother of our sponsored school child. Our girl, Paola, is 6. Her mother is an older mom; Paola’s next oldest sibling is 15, and there are some in their 20’s and 30’s as well. It would take days for you to read the whole story of how we met the first time, and got to her house the second time for a visit, so I will hold off on that. Just know that God allowed me two meetings with her, and the result of that is a mother-to-mother bond that I hope will continue to grow.
During the home visit, while Paola and Rachel played with Paola’s cute little puppy, I got to talk to her mom a lot more with the help of a translator. The translator, Laura, and I kind of tag-teamed the conversation. It was weird (or miraculous!)… I can generally understand more Spanish than I can speak, but this time I could literally understand about 99% of what was coming out of Laura’s mouth! It made it easy to add in thoughts when I wanted too, and ask further questions as well. One phrase she mentioned a couple of times was “the eyes of Christ”. She was referencing the fact that really, we’re not all that different.
Yes, she lives in a literal dump; I live in a middle class American suburb.
Her child finds toys in the trash piles to play with, my child is almost guaranteed her most wished for toy on her Christmas list.
I have a husband who loves and supports me; she made no mention of a father figure or husband in their lives.
We are so different.
And yet, very much the same.
We’re both mothers, women, loved by God.
Oh, as I think about how MUCH I want her to see how MUCH God loves her… it’s a weight on my heart that can’t be lightened.
In the eyes of Christ, we are the same!
Having my daughter there only served to emphasize this point.
She didn’t see the dump. She saw dirt streets that they could run around and play on.
She didn’t see the girl wearing the same clothes for the 3rd day in a row. She saw “C”, a girl she made bead necklaces with.
She didn’t see the trash. She saw mama hen and “pollitos” (baby chickens) scratching around looking for a snack.
It excites me to think that she will come back as she gets older, and start to see the exterior of the Colonia for what it is… and she won’t care. Her heart will already be loving the people.
Today, the day before Thanksgiving, I am thankful that the Lord gave my daughter and I this chance to have our eyes opened to see what He sees.