Then we heard music. Someone was playing the guitar. And singing! Shaun Groves' room was right across the hall and there was no question that it was him. The presence of his guitar had been a tease all week long. He didn't bring it to play for us, but to have in case the songwriting bug bit him. We were finally hearing him play. In fact, we flung open our door so we could hear him better. The blessing came right on time. It had been a difficult and emotional day. I wish I could truly describe what this moment meant to me. My best attempt is to say it was like aloe-vera on a terrible sunburn.
Friday, September 17, 2010
Snapshots From a Camera-less Blogger
One of the best things about the Guatemala bloggers trip was the very talented and hilarious Compassion photographer, Keely Scott. She is a-m-a-z-i-n-g. Not only did she provide professional quality photographs for our blog posts, but she also allowed everyone to put down their cameras and be fully present wherever we were. That was such a gift. I have a great camera but (A) I'm not very good at photography and (B) The thing weighs a ton and (C) I didn't want to worry about losing it.
Keely did a fabulous job capturing the moments with her camera. The day we spent in the dump, she had to hide the thing behind a large bag and I'm pretty sure most of the shots were taken from her hip. She had to beg and plead with our armed guards to even be able to do that. You can find Keely's blog here if you want to keep up with her adventures around the world.
I took a few mental snapshots since my camera didn't make the cut on my packing list.
Lisa-Jo and I had eyed the empty row of the airplane's bulkhead and scurried over to it as soon as we knew everyone on the plane had claimed their seats. I felt a tiny ping of guilt about it but remembered that my total hours of travel delay had now reached something like five or six. Guilt be gone! Lisa-Jo is one of the most interesting (and warm and loving) people I've ever met and talking to her made the flight go by quickly.
As we approached Guatemala City, we started seeing flashes of light out the window. We peered out and saw a storm system that was nothing short of massive and terrifying. The cloud mass was enormous. Every other second it was illuminated by lightning. We were above it and to the side, otherwise I would have been curled up in the fetal position and sucking my thumb. We seemed to be a safe distance away, so I just enjoyed the awesome display of God's glory. Above the storm clouds was the wide open night sky, stars twinkling peacefully. The storm system was honestly one of the most powerful and awe-inspiring things I've ever seen. I can't wrap my mind around how mighty our God is if something He created can make me tremble so.
Then I noticed a much smaller storm mass down to my right. The lightning within it was just as frequent as the bigger storm, only the light was red. It was so bizarre. The red storm would have been intimidating if the huge white storm was not also there filling our gaze.
Into the mental file it went. I felt that God wanted to show me that even though the kingdom of darkness is scary and powerful, the kingdom of God is incomparably greater. Every time I was tempted to feel hopeless about the evil and brokenness I saw in Guatemala, I went back to the visual reminder of the storms.
And I tell you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of Hades will not overcome it. (Matthew 16:18)
After the day we spent down in the dump, our team headed back to the hotel to get cleaned up, rest a bit, eat dinner, have a debriefing meeting, and blog our little hearts out. Patricia and I had found our groove in writing as much as we could before dinner so that we wouldn't have that panicky feeling afterward. The night before, I had written about Joy. It was a very fun and pleasant post to write. The post from the dump was the exact opposite. I was getting toward the end of it and was feeling very heavy and exasperated.
Here's a video of the song, which, oddly enough, Dustin and Shaun shot in the hotel bathroom! If you expand the description you'll see the lyrics. Shaun also wrote a post about it here. Be blessed.