After the robbery, I wasn’t quite sure how to respond to people in this pueblo.
It is a very typical Mexican pueblo: narrow dirt roads, adobe houses with either tin or clay tile roofs, big yellow Catholic church with its red dome and accents built on the main square, and adults walking to and fro donning sombreros on their heads of thick black hair and huaraches on their dirty calloused feet. Just about everyone knows everyone – and everyone else’s business to boot.
We’ve tried to get to know the town. Our boys have played basketball in the square and soccer on the hill. We’ve smiled and waved as we’ve driven by, or have spoken a greeting when walking past.
We’ve tried to be friendly- to be that fragrance of Christ of which Paul writes the Corinthian church in his second letter.
However, since the robbery brought on negative feelings of mistrust and anger, I wasn’t sure I wanted to smile at anyone. I knew I wouldn’t frown at them or give them mean looks, rather just ignore them for the time being. That way, I reasoned, I wouldn’t have to wonder,”Was it you?” every time I looked someone in the eye.
I know that’s unfair to suspect anyone and everyone. But it seems my emotions never do play fair. Do yours? My emotions worked in tandem with my thoughts, convincing me that it was known who had robbed us, now causing me to wonder, “If it wasn’t you, was it your neighbor? Your cousin? Father? Son? Mother????”
But thank God he doesn’t allow us to wallow in our weaknesses too long. He takes the pain and confusion and somehow, mysteriously replaces it with those good things that come from Him…
…Because I’m surrendered to Him and He knows He has lordship in my life to do that.
…Because others are praying. Who can figure that out? People pray and God answers. He replies to those requests by refreshing our spirit, renewing our hope, and reviving that peace that passes comprehension.
As we drove through the town yesterday, do you know what I did? I smiled and waved.
And I meant it.