But that, that was only the beginning.
This past week, I returned home. I returned to a incredible family. A broken family. A family that has lost so much and seen so many other lose even more. A family that took me in, broken and lost as I was, and called me beloved.
This is me when I was 18 working on a stool with Jesse when he was 8
This is him and I this week. I am 21 and he is 11
This week was not only a week of celebration though. This was a week where I rediscovered my passion for the marginalized and the forgotten. I remember my desire for justice. I recalled why I commit myself to a contemplative life of prayer and listening.
One man we met this week was named Ceasar [pronounced "Say-Zarr"]. He helped us this week on the dorms we painted and went to the beach with us. He spoke only Spanish and brought his son to help us. He seemed like just a normal, and kind fellow from the community.
At the end of the week, I found out he had a severe case of schizophrenia and had attempted suicide three weeks before we came. Him, his wife, and three children lived in a garage with no windows. His oldest son sleeps on the floor. He kept on telling Larry this week that he was worried the voices would come back and tell him to try to kill himself again.
The hardest part after hearing this, is recalling a moment when he was gently holding his 1 and a half year old daughter in his arms trying to get her to say "da-da" and "hola". He held her so sweetly, like a mother. You could see his spirit sounding into her and you could see her spirit giving him life.
If I could go back to that moment when I saw him and his daughter, I would go back, hug them both, and hold on for dear life. I know that is what Larry is doing with Sazar. I know that is what Sazar is doing with his daughter. And I know God is holding onto them all and constantly trying to remind them that they are beloved.
In this moment in my spiritual journey, in my life, I know with more certainty than ever that I need to be among people like Ceasar, the marginalized, the forgotten. I know that they need their stories shared more than any one else and they need people to share them with others.
So, I hope to use this blog to share these stories, their stories, my stories, and peoples journey's to and from home.