This story starts in the Chicago airport, as my son and I were flying here to El Salvador to join a team that had been here since Saturday. Our first flight took us to Chicago where we ate breakfast at a little cafe. He sat with our luggage while I went and stood in line to order. Suddenly, a tall, thin gentleman ran directly into me. The man had a service dog, who was leading him, I quickly realized that the man was completely blind. I was about to offer him assistance when someone who worked there came up to him and offered herhe, which he gladly accepted.
After sitting near him, to share breakfast with my son, I could not get the man and his dog off my mind. I thought about how difficult and frustrating it must be to navigate life without vision. I thought about how much he must have to rely on that dog. I thought about all the beauty and experiences that you would miss out on, if you were blind. This was not just a passing thought, I absolutely could not get this man (who I had never even spoken to) off my mind.
Today we went to a center for orphaned children who have Special Needs. We picked them up and took them for a rare day at the beach. I didn't know which child that I would be responsible for, but assumed in my head that it would be a young girl, because that's who I tend to gravitate toward. When people started choosing who they were going to actually take down on the beach, I kind of hung back and waited to see who was left without someone to help them. This time it was a young teenaged boy, who was completely blind.
I led the boy down on the beach. He had both hands on me, as if he were hanging on for dear life. When we got to the waters edge, it was obvious that the water was rough, true to the fact that the undertow is one of the strongest in the world! I tried my best to use my Spanish and translators to describe to him what things looked like. He wanted to sit down at the waters edge. I stood beside him with him ever so tightly holding my arm with both his hands. Eventually I had a translator tell him that I would make him a deal, that if he would let go of me, so that he could feel of things and experience them with his hands, I would promise to hold on to him, and not let go for anything. He agreed, and I held onto him for over an hour.
I wish there was an adequate way to express to you, reader of this blog, the pure joy that this young man had. I had never seen anything like it! He smiled from ear to ear. This young man swung his head from side to side, in a "Stevie Wonder fashion. A friend gathered shells for me, and I had him take each one in his hands and feel it inside and out. He ran his fingers through the sand. We poured water from hats over his head, and he loved it!
I stood there, holding on to the boy (for his peace of mind) thinking about another person, one that I never met, but had "bumped into " the day before, one who God had used to prepare me for meeting this young man, and being on the beach with him!
Sometimes when God is standing there, hanging onto our arm, while we are in the sinking sand, we forget that He's there, and so me times (like my experience today), we can look back just a short distance of time and know that we are exactly where He wants us, and that He has put people and in our lives to prepare us "For such a time as this".
I am super thankful for Gods guidance and goodness!