A time for everything…
I went to a local church with my mama tica (host mother in Costa Rica). The pastor reiterated some words during his exhortation that still resound within my my mind:
Pedir, which means to ask for something, like for a favor; or to express a need.
Insistir, which means to insist and do so, well, insistently.
Persistir, which means to persevere and with stamina.
I wrote those three words down next to the sketch I had drawn of the girl in front of me. At one point of the service, I got lost in the abyss of my personal reflections, completely disinterested and disconnected at that point. The boy next to me picked up several slips of paper that had fallen from the journal I had been using. I mumbled a ‘thank you’, took them from him absentmindedly, and slid them between the cover and the last page.
I ended up leaving just moments before the service ended to refresh my mind. Yet, the three words the pastor said would not evade me despite all the other distractions arising.
“Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened.
“Which of you, if your son asks for bread, will give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a snake? If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him! So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets.
Matthew 7: 7-12
I haven’t fasted on Sunday mornings in a while. Today was the first time in about several weeks that I have done so intentionally . Someone once told me that fasts have a way of bringing some things to the surface. There are some murky waters in my spirit, and I am no deep sea diver, okay?
By the time I returned home I was beginning to leak. I turned on some music, closed my door, and stayed in there for over an hour just crying it all out. It was better that way. It’s not worth being angry and inundated with pain. Simply put, I am in Costa Rica and there are so many people who would gladly trade places with me. The key here is that I did all this not in my own power but with a surfeit of help, support, and encouragement from others.
a time to be born and a time to die,
a time to plant and a time to uproot,
a time to kill and a time to heal,
a time to tear down and a time to build,
a time to weep and a time to laugh,
a time to mourn and a time to dance,
a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them,
a time to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing,
a time to search and a time to give up,
a time to keep and a time to throw away,
a time to tear and a time to mend,
a time to be silent and a time to speak,
a time to love and a time to hate,
a time for war and a time for peace.
Ecclesiastes 3: 1-8
I remembered God once again while lying on bed earlier. I remembered the peace I felt as I looked into the expanse of white clouds outside the window of the plane. I remembered the decision I made while sitting in that cramped little cavity. I told myself that whatever happened once I set foot in this foreign land that I would take it as it came.
I then got up from the bed. I said a prayer of thanksgiving that I was no longer in the hands of all the people who had done harm to me. I grabbed my journal and headed for the front patio. I began to draw. I began to sing.
The slips of paper caught my attention again. They were notes I had written several months ago while sitting on the bus, notes of gratitude, notes that listed all my accomplishments during this past season, notes that reminded that I am loved and notes that said that I need to love all the more.
I transcribed the declarations onto same pages with the drawings I had done, and then I thought to myself ‘pedir, insistir, persistir.’
One week down, eleven more to go.