Honduran Chronicles 3: No Difference in the Heart
People experience life completely different around the globe.
Here in the states, our quality of life is defined by the technology we enjoy. I can wake up to my alarm clock and stumble into the shower. I can hop in my truck and drive down well paved roads and stop at Dunkin Donuts for a hot cup of joe. When I get to work, which is nicely air conditioned now that warmer weather is upon us, I fire up my computer and check my email and the latest sports scores before the rest of our work crew gets to work and need me to pass out their handheld computers. After they get them, they get in their company vans and drive away just as the street sweepers are finishing up cleaning the city streets of trash.
I could keep going about the benefits of technology. I can pour myself a cup of water from the tap. I can turn on the TV and choose from more than a hundred channels. I don’t have to worry about where I eat or what I eat.
Life in Honduras is much different. The temperature is much warmer all year round. A few places have air conditioning and that is a luxury. They are not educated about recycling and throwing away trash. They throw it on the ground and it accumulates in unsightly piles of plastic along the roads, even in people’s yards. Electricity is not a given and is prone to going off at least a few times a week. As such, meat can be suspect. And certainly don’t drink from local water sources. Drink bottled water. Everywhere we went, we had to watch what we ate. Don’t eat the meat here. The lettuce is washed with dirty river water. Avoid it. And sadly, after grade six, many boys leave school to learn how to be thieves. Many girls get married or start the process of having children. To Hondurans, this is normal.
I don’t state these differences to demonstrate that life is better in America. I ate much less in Honduras and felt just as healthy. For the nine days I was there, I didn’t even miss the internet. No TV, no problem. We talked and fellowshipped. Life is not better in America or in Honduras, it is just different.
However, I saw little boys and girls who were hungry for affection and attention. I saw young mothers with concern in their eyes, wondering how they were going to make it through the day. I saw mothers and fathers who were proud of how their students were doing in school. I saw teens who were excited about their future prospects after high school. I saw boys and girls chasing each other around the playground and older boys and girls covertly touching and finding secluded corners. I saw elderly people trying to find hope and meaning in lives that were not what they once used to be.
Yes, the way people live around the world and what they have is different, but they are also so much alike. I knew this going into Honduras. It is common sense, but sometimes it takes seeing it in person for it to really hit home.
One of the most beautiful moments I had in Honduras came during a Sunday church service. In Honduras they speak Spanish. I don’t. But the worship team was up on stage singing and I was trying to follow along as best I could. Finally, they sang a song I knew. When they started singing the chorus, I was into the song, singing the few words of Spanish I was quickly learning (but in my mind singing it in English because that is how I was understanding it. I think in English, you know!). I opened my eyes and watched the lead singer, a pretty young girl, as she sang the words “Holy, Holy.” (but in Spanish – “Sanctus, Sanctus.”) She was into it too, singing not for anyone in the crowd, but for God. In that moment of worship I realized that God is not a God of language. He is a God of the heart. He was listening to her heart cry out and He was listening to my heart cry out and He wasn’t hearing English or Spanish, He was hearing the adoration of our hearts.
© Seth Crossman