[ Godsends ]

Through a Child's Eyes

About once a year, I join a local church on relief trips to rural areas in Honduras.

I always tell people, we are not going to rescue these people from their simple ways, but rather just to help a little... and through our example of caring, show the love of God. All of us on the trip said these words - and we carried that in mind as our reason for being there.

But did we really believe it? Or, somewhere in our hearts, did we think we really did know better than they and we could open their eyes to a 'better' way of living — that is to say, our way of living? I was not sure, but there was a part of me that wondered.

Cut to a village schoolroom, where I was leading the students in an art project. I love children, and I love art - so my mother had sent me with lots of great, heavy paper and a rainbow of water colors. I told them, in my best broken Spanish, to paint a picture — about you, your family, your house, your livestock — anything. Give me a glimpse into your everyday life.

So they began, all the village children of all ages, from the village ’El Potrero des Casas’ - which means, ‘Field of Houses’.

It was very quiet in the room - the most quiet I have ever heard in that school room of 45 or so children - heads down, trading paints and brushes, with colors being splashed on each child's paper.

As they finished their pictures, they would come to the front of the room and give them to me, and I would put them up on the front wall. They were so proud of their work, each child approaching me with a smile and an extended hand.

Here is where it hit me. One by one as I hung the pictures, I noticed a theme. Each picture was about their families, their animals, their huts, their tiny gardens, and pictures depicting themselves. Not in one picture was there a sad face drawn on any of the subjects. The moms, the dads, even the animals, had a smile. No tears, no angry faces, no frowns.

I realized then that they didn't need us to rescue them from their 'third world' existence. I realized that they are fine and, in many ways, better off than we in our 'civilized' world. It was such a profound moment for me.

I believe that revelations like this are handed to us all the time. It’s only when we make ourselves open to these divine messages that we can even know what's truly happening to, and around, us.

Tara B.

Atlanta, GA