As I hurried to pack my suitcase for Guatemala, I made a quick run by the nail salon. You know, you can’t leave the country without everything being just right. My girls had asked I get pink sparkly nails, so I did.
The messy beautiful.
Walking among the trash and dust around Dump City, I felt so at home. My heart pumped a new beat even though it was overwhelming.
Maybe it was because through the messy, trashy, and smelly I saw the real me. The girl who was so wrapped up in the way I looked, the way I acted, and the way I spoke that at times it can be nauseating.
But here among the messy I saw real people. No pretense, just people whose hearts cries were no different than my own.
There were moms who prayed and cried for their children. Men who longed to have their addictions conquered. And moms and children who were looking to feel of worth and value no matter what society told them.
Yes, somewhere among that messy city my pink nails, make-up, and dress didn’t matter. What mattered was the love that ran from heart to heart.
The messy is freeing.
Living in the messy somehow frees you. The ties and judgements that hold you back seem to fade into the background. It’s really a beautiful place.
Walking out of the dump community where we had opportunity to visit and pray with families, my mind couldn’t verbalize what I had just seen and heard. I knew my heart was beating for Guatemala. I knew I wanted to help. However, the needs seemed so vast it was almost paralyzing.
Walking across the street we had opportunity to serve lunch to the children at the Potter’s House. After we were briefed about the school, we headed to the cafeteria.
I didn’t know what to expect.
I know all school cafeteria’s are loud and busy. Actually, they aren’t my favorite places to be.
But this was a beautiful surprise. The cafeteria was clean and a buzz with happy, smiling children. Such a nice opposite from what I had just witnessed in the community.
We began handing out lunch trays and drinks. The children were giggling and my heart was happy to see a sign of hope after all I had witnessed in their community.
Four girls and some pink glittery nails.
I was taking it all in. I didn’t want to forget these smiles. I grabbed a few more lunch trays and headed to the next table where I sat them down in front of a four young girls.
Before I could get my hand away they had grabbed it and were going crazy over my pink glittery nails. Their giggles and curiosity melted my heart.
I watched their eyes dance and their smiles widen. They loved the pink glitter.
That’s when it hit me.
While the girls giggles made my day, there was something in me crying. These nails that I just had to have redone before the trip could easily sponsor one girl for a month. (see the sponsorship program here)
Who cares about the nails? Who cares about trying to have it all together? Who cares?
In that moment, I sure didn’t. All I wanted to do was to be able to help these children in some small way.
My glittery pink nails brought me to Yakeline.
She’s a 6th grader and an only child. Her dad has passed away. Her mom is single and works in the dump community helping others.
Yakeline’s eyes caught my attention. They sparkled and danced as we visited and she held my hand ever-so-tightly.
The tension between the messy and the beautiful is such an incredible place to be. Looking in to Yakeline’s eyes, I realized the fight to see beyond the superficial and into the heart of those who are longing for hope and help is a gift.
I’m thankful for the messy.
Hanging on to the memories from that lunch cafeteria, I still fight with the “who cares?”
The tension that stretches my heart so thin almost seems at times will break it. I’m learning at a deeper level what it means to live in the uncomfortable! True beauty is found there . . . among the messy.
Have you experienced the fight within your soul of living between the messy and the beautiful?
You can share in the comments below.