Who else loves the feeling of a warm shower washing the dirt off your body after a long hard day of work. Seeing all the dirt and sweat swirl down the drain away from you, leaving you clean, fresh, and renewed. That is only the surface feeling of what it’s like when Jesus’ s love washes over you cleaning you and renewing you. Choosing him you watch the dirt of the old you leave and the new, clean, and transformed version of yourself standing strong in your resolve for a brighter future with Him. That is one of the most beautiful feelings and experiences any of us could have in our lifetime. What an incredible freeing moment.
A huge chunk of our time during the trip in Guatemala was spent in the village clinic in Cajahualten. We primed the whole clinic, painted two of the rooms a bright cheery green and then cleaned the whole place up for the sweet nurse who worked there. Before we painted and cleaned the walls were a dirty yellow with spiders and spider webs all over. It was quite dingy looking due to the color and the dirt that had built up over time. We set to work sweeping cobwebs, spider hunting, taking down posters, taping up the trim and outlets and prepping to prime. There were three rooms plus the bathroom in the clinic and each room got about three or four people armed with brushes, paint rollers, clean white primer, and determination. The satisfaction of watching the clean white paint glide over and cover the dirty yellow was so incredible. The rooms went from dim and dingy to brighter and clean looking. There was a crispness to the clinic and a sense of spotlessness. Even though we finished with tired arms and spattered in white paint we all left excited because already you could see such a difference in the clinic.
Next day we came back armed with a huge bucket of bright green paint this time. We painted the back two rooms green leaving the front room white. The excitement of rolling the roller in the vibrant green knowing it was going to change the clinic drastically was definitely there. I paused for a second just because once you start you can’t go back, but putting that first stroke of green on the clean white felt incredible. This part of painting went faster because there were only two rooms to do. The green was thinner though that the white so it became a two day job because we needed to do a second coat the next day. It is so incredible to see the difference two coats of paint do compared to just one coat. The color is more solid, more fluid, and way more streamlined.
We then mopped and cleaned all the floors and set everything back in place. The vibes and feel inside were so incredibly different than when we had started a couple days before. There was a brightness, a cheeriness, a feeling of joy in the clinic. The bright colors and clean rooms radiated love and the time we put into making it a happy place for the nurse to work in. Since she spent so much of her time there and gave of herself so selflessly we wanted to do all we could to make her clinic a happy place full of life. The government in Guatemala does not give much money to medical needs so this incredible nurse buys most of her supplies and needs out of her own pocket. We all brought supplies and things to help her for her clinic and the way her face lit up was priceless. A moment you never want to forget!
This trip reminded me again and again of the power of selfless giving. Even if it is very little, if you are giving it out of true love and a full heart the gift is priceless. If we are sharing our gifts with agape love, God’s love, then we are truly helping to better the world one tiny act at a time. The ripple effect is real too, you never know down the road how your one small act changed the life of another person through the actions of others who were touched by you.
Especially this holiday season when we are all bustling around and stressed, frantic to find the best deals on black Friday and other days remember the real reason for the season. Take a step back this season and really enjoy the special moments and memories being created. Spend time with loved ones, help a person in need, make homemade gifts full of love and time… etc. Make this holiday season a bit different and enjoy the season. Spread love and cheer and joy. I know that may sound cheesy and almost too easy, but often enough we get so caught up in the material side of the holidays. We forget the true reason of the season is to celebrate in God’s love because He so long ago sent his beloved Son down to be born for our sakes. How incredible is that! Xo