A lullaby of freedom (Month #3)


One of my favorite moments at the office is when I get to hang out with our clients. It is, as always, the smallest things that bring great joy to my heart.  Last Friday I got to hold one of our clients’ babies; he is 3 months old. I am amazed by the fact that his life started almost at the same time I arrived to Guatemala. How crazy is that?

His mom has been a victim of sexual violence for years, being abused by her stepfather. Even though our client’s mom knew of the abuse, she decided to remain silent. No one else knew about it until our client was impregnated by her stepfather.  She was rescued from that house and now she is staying at something like an orphanage/foster house. While I held this baby in my arms I could not stop thinking about how messed up our world is. I was able to restrain my tears- until I got home of course – but I sang a song to the baby.  This kid was not supposed to be here. His mom was not supposed to be raped; she was supposed to enjoy the world with all the innocence and beauty that comes with childhood.

What happened to her is not fair, it is a nightmare, and it is one of the biggest fears that every woman has, #YesAllWomen all over the world.  What happened to her sucks and it was not supposed to happen.  Now, she is a 13 year old adolescent, a 13 year old mom of a 3 months old baby boy.

Nevertheless, while I was holding that baby – and my tears- I could see how beauty can be found in this world. Along with that strange feeling of finding beauty in the unexpected pain, a sweet melody came to my heart, it was a lullaby.

Paz

The signature of peace that ended Guatemala´s war.

It has been 3 months since I got to Guatemala, the honeymoon stage is almost over, that means things are not as stunning or exiting, and even though it is not enough time to say I understand the culture I am building a routine for my daily life.  And I have learned 3 things so far:

  • Here to serve: I am not here to make my ego grow. I am here to serve with an amazing team (IJM Guatemala) that fights and seeks justice for our clients. Service is a wonderful thing to do when it is not self-centered. It can come in different ways: translating-as-you-read a Clifford book for one of our clients just to make him laugh, giving a glass of water to a mom and asking – with a willingness to listen- how she is doing and being ready to hug her when she needs to cry. Or, and by far one of my favorite ways to serve, holding a baby and singing to him to let him know that he is loved, precious and welcome in a world where he was not support to be, or at least not like this.
  • Here to encourage: It is good to be reminded of the good moments/things/qualities. I am holding on to words of encouragement more than ever here (so yes, you can send me postcards, letters or emails J ) And I am trying to be intentional with my words to do the same with all IJM staff, new friends, and, especially, with our clients. I want to build people up and for that I need to speak words of truth, freedom and restoration.
  • Here to find beauty in the midst of brokenness: The kids in our office have been sexually assaulted or they are a result of an abuse. I see darkness every time I learn their stories. At the same time, I see unending beauty in their eyes and their smiles. I hear joy and restoration songs in their laughter.

So, to wrap up this long post, I am going to ask you to imagine something and hopefully you can share this special moment with me. I am singing a sweet lullaby to a 3 months old angel with the same love and acceptance that God is singing a song to each of us, a song of love written with indelible ink – his son´s blood. A song that started before the pain and will remain for all eternity, a sound that lets us feel the bit of beauty that can be heard only after we have heard the most devastating cry of help, when we have felt their pain, and when restoration comes as a lullaby of freedom.

Love to you all,