What a gloriously quiet morning, and yet it is abundant with chaos. Over an hour prior, meeting the first light of day, the laying hens were let loose from their noisy dust-filled coop. The flock raced out for the bitty golden grains they delight in each morn, each one scrambling to retrieve more than her fair share, their colorful protector quietly and patiently waiting at the side while the girls get their fill.
For now, the earthly winds are still, making for peace on the back deck, perfect for sipping the warm dark smoky goodness that gets me going for the day. My mind wanders with wonder over the glorious view of snow-capped mountains above freshly exposed greenery of high altitude fields and trees in late spring. My ears buzz with miraculous sounds of nature all around.
It seems that I am sitting in a bird sanctuary, the multitudes singing songs and shouting about who-knows-what. Flickers of wings flash through scrub oak as they go about their cares. An occasional sparrow races by with nary a glance at me sitting so quiet with that cozy cup of morning inspiration. I am not fooled. I know the critters do not wish to see me so close to the food I have hung in the shade for them. A finch of frazzled white and black feathers is not so shy and she perches for free sustenance right near my shoulder. She hops from the far side to each open window of the feeder seeking her pleasure and carelessly tossing away the rest, the seed making its own music as it bounces on the faded, splintered wooden deck. Humming birds arrive, wings noisily beating so fast, while further off are sounds of family dogs warning off supposed intruders, roosters continuing to announce the new day, horses calling out to be released, jets breaking apart the blue sky, and the sound of a beat-up truck rumbling against the washboarded country roads. The young four-footed boys, stolen from their mothers too soon in their minds, are crying out with great displeasure from a few pastures over. Their desperate pleas make me nearly chuckle out-loud, as I know they will still have plenty to fill their furry black and red-brown bellies.
Out here in the fresh air, with a clear view of mountain majesty, my mind travels to my Compassion kids, seven of them so far. No different from my own, each one is unique and precious, growth and God-given gifts being exposed with the passing of time and each new letter that arrives. The trip to Guatemala in the year just past remains fresh in my mind. Memories of those early cool mornings in Coban, sipping coffee from beans grown in rich soil nearby, sitting in the open-air restaurant of the quaint hotel that housed an excited group of sponsors for a good part of the trip. Along with the other early-risers, I watch the sun coming up, listening to similar sounds of roosters, dogs, and birds, wondering about the lives of those in the simple apartments across the way. Later, at a crowded cafe in Guatemala City, I remember the faces of three young men, each with one parent, looking up at mine with wonder and maybe a tinge of fear. It was a very big day, never before having been outside of their small villages, meeting this so pale faced, nearly twice their size in height woman that had written to each one from another country, that land of opportunity. As I greet each one, the personalities of those letters come out in real life, the oldest responsible one, the guarded untrusting one, and the shy but happy one.
A door opens and closes in the house. I hear the solid slow morning steps of my husband plodding across the floor, and a pop and swoosh as he loads the coffee machine, which then loads his cup, filling the air again with that unique smokey-fresh smell. He joins me on the deck and we share a rare moment of reflection, and anticipation of what the day holds so near in time. All too soon, we are both off in different directions to accomplishments and enjoyments, each our own.
Ah, those incredible kids. Inspirations from God. I know He has plans for their lives, plans to prosper them and give them hope, and I get to be a part of that! The two oldest have already moved on from my sponsorship, but they are forever in my heart and they are still prayed for right along with the newer and younger. I know their lives are dramatically changed, and their futures shine brighter thanks to Compassion International’s involvement, connecting churches with kids, families, education and sponsors.
My life is changed too. My heart has grown larger, and my own trust in the Lord grows deeper. With man, it is impossible, but with God, all things are possible. I remember opening the mailbox just yesterday, and the great excitement of seeing a little white, padded package from Compassion. I couldn’t grab it and open it fast enough, already knowing what was inside. Ripping the soft plastic apart, I drug out the pale blue shirt sent for my volunteer work with Compassion at a Bethel concert the next day. I wonder about the others that I will serve with, knowing they must be as excited as I. For we each know, whether it’s our first time, tenth, or last, lives will be changed this night. Hope shining bright, doors being opened, healing and unspeakable joy for children and families, many the poorest of the poor, begins tonight. With each hand that goes up, each packet that is passed, and each heart that says yes, lives will be transformed.