Friday, May 9, 2008


Today I was at the bus stop area in La Victoria where a lot of the boys catch buses to play music on. While saying hello to one of the boys I knew, I caught the eye of a boy I had never seen before.

I felt the need to reach out my hand and say hello, so I did and we began talking.

He shared from his life and I shared from mine, and when the bus I needed to take arrived we said goodbye. What was so awesome about the conversation was that the entire time he never asked me for "plata" (money), which does not happen very often. When I am in a poorer areas of Lima, even if it is spoken like a joke, people ask for money. It felt so good when he didn't ask.

I was wondering at this the other day when Ben and Darcy shared a story with me about their day.

The two were visiting someone in the outskirts of Lima and a boy who was about four ran up to the house where they were standing and started saying "Quiero plata. Quiero plata" (I want money). Nearly every question they tried to ask him was returned with the words "Quiero plata."

Compassion is not giving someone money and watching them walk away, it is entering the life of another. It is so difficult to show people real compassion when they will not talk about their life with you and/or they do not want to listen to you talk about your life. (and often times there is ample reason for this)

It feels so good to be talked with, to be seen as a person and to have the chance to bond with someone.

I was thinking about these stories today, mine and the one from Ben and Darcy, and I realized that sometimes when I have talked with God all I have asked for is "plata."

How can we experience God's compassion if we never share life with Him, make Him a part of our lives by speaking sincerely and listening sincerely. He does not simply want to take away pain. He wants to experiece life with us, the joys and the pain.

He created us to "be" with Him, not to use Him as a means to happiness or a cure for problems. He desires so much to "be" with us.