These past few days I've been working hard on my new book. Working hard to get over the infection that laid me low when I returned from the mission trip. Working hard to finish all the fall chores here on the farm. Just...working hard.
It's what we all do, isn't it? We work hard for what we have, want and need. We know that if we buckle down and do what we need to do, we'll attain some measure of success. And "success" is defined differently by everyone, isn't it? We all have our own yardstick with which we measure ourselves and our actions, calculate our successes and failures.
As I go about my ordinary life, I can't help but recall the people I met on the mission trip. I see their faces in my mind, hear their voices in my head. And, I keep their lives in my heart.
The realization that so much of what I--and many others--take for granted is hammered home after this journey. I admit, I've never had to wonder where I'll sleep at night. Never had the pain of hunger invade my mind and body. Never walked barefoot over dirty, rutted trails. And believe me, I'm very, very grateful I've never experienced any of those things.
My sweet friend Nadia, in the photo above, knows intimately the "never" list. She's faced all of those issues. Were it not for the school on the mountain and the faith of one brave woman, she would probably be hungry. Barefoot. Dirty.
But, she's not. See that smile? It flashes constantly. See the beautiful brown eyes? They sparkle with intelligence. You can't see her heart, but it is huge. Nadia is kind, funny and loving. It is my great pleasure to say she is mi amiga.
And if it weren't for the work of the woman who runs Mi Refugio, Nadia and the other kids wouldn't be mis amigas. Who knows where they'd be right now. Certainly not on a swing!
That point, the idea that the work and vision of a single human being makes this photo possible, kind of makes my work list seem much more inconsequential. Yes, we all have jobs to do...but some are called to do truly inspirational things. For that, I am grateful.
Now, if you'll excuse me...I've got weeds and firewood to be dealt with!