I walked toward him. He tentatively peeked from behind hanging laundry. I bent down, asking his name. I couldn’t understand him, but he smiled. A huge smile that reached the greenest eyes I’d ever seen.
I snapped his picture with my phone.
In Honduras, the kiddos love for you to take their picture then show them the photo. Some have never seen a photo of themselves. I hand him my iPhone, and he giggles – delighted at his image. I continue photographing him and his brothers. They alternate swiping through my photos. Laughing – as if not a care in the world.
He plucks a flower off the nearby bush and hands it to me, smiling coyly with his fingers tucked into his mouth.
I am undone by the gesture.
I take the flower – muchas gracias, little one.
He gave me the only gift he had to give – a flower wildly growing from a bush near his home. I have never loved a gift more.
And I wonder…what do I have to give?
I consider handing him lempira (money), but my wallet is in the truck. I wish I had a stuffed animal or toy truck – but I don’t. I hold my flower tightly, wishing I had something to give.
The rain comes, and everyone heads toward the truck…I need to go too…but I want to do something – anything – for this sweet child who lives in a house where chickens roam on the kitchen’s dirt floors.
I smile and pat his head, joking as I return to the truck – humor is my defense always. If I want to cry, but refuse, I joke.
As we drive up the mountain, I silently ask God why…why the green-eyed little boy with a vibrant smile lives in such poverty. Fatherless. I wish I had something to give.
And God reminds me of how my culture has conditioned me to believe that giving has to be “something” – a specific action or physical object. Maybe I gave that little guy something – a moment to play and see his picture on a phone that cost more than his family makes in months. A hug. A smile.
Because I gave that, he gave all he had – a flower. And a smile that will forever be imprinted on my heart.
That’s why I am here. To give all I have…even if to just one…because HE gave all he had. His only son.
It’s the verse the churched know so well…16 For God loved the world so much that he gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life. John 3:16
He gave all – his one and only son so I could live eternally. So, how small is my gift this week – and everday of my life – to give my life up for him. To die to self and to live for Him and Him alone.