This is the fourth part of a series about my travels in Mexico last summer, a trip that God used to teach me many lessons in love, humility, beauty, and wealth. If you missed the first three parts, click here.
Love is a very strange thing indeed–the emotions, the feelings, the brilliant connection between one and another is so amazingly strange, so uncomprehendable. But even stranger than that is something that I thought was silly, something I said to be impossible many times before–love at first sight. And you showed me that it is indeed possible, and not silly at all.
It was a Thursday and I had been in Mexico for four days: we came to your neighbourhood to put on a VBS at the pastor’s house. I remember with a slight smile, how I had my little notebook with a story I’d written to read to you kids and a whole schedule of how things would be. I had it all planned out and it was going to be a success. But then, I saw you all laughing and playing and kicking the soccer ball. I stood dumbly for a minute, watched some of my friends jump in and play with you and scrapped my notebook and joined in, realizing that you didn’t need my finely scheduled VBS–you just wanted to play, you just wanted us, you wanted love. And I wanted it too. In fact, I fell in love.
No, actually I didn’t fall in love. I was already in love–with Mexico, with God, and with love itself but I didn’t realize it until that moment when I stood before you. Before then I did not know the extreme power of love or that love for someone else can be developed in a very short amount of time. On that Thursday, I met you and the other children and the connection was too powerful to be titled anything less than love at first sight.
I don’t know what it was about you, Cadira, but you really caught my eye. Perhaps it was your shy smile just wanting to please someone that reminded me of myself. Maybe it was the way you wiggled your tooth or your big brown eyes. Or could it just have been the way that you accepted me, and the way that you loved? In any event, I loved you from the first. And you loved me too–not that you ever told me that for you couldn’t speak English and I didn’t know much Spanish but from the way you looked at me, the way you followed me about, I could tell that you loved me too.
That day that I met you was one of the best days of my life.
I will always cherish the way you smiled when I threw the ball to you, asking you, in action, if you would like to play with me.
I can still hear your laughter and the giggles and shouts of the other children as I ran around with all of you on my back. How tired I was, but how worth it in the end! Everyone had to take their turn and I could tell that you wanted yours more than anyone else. How you shrieked with giggles as I ran and skipped and jumped with you upon my back.
I can still see the way your eyes lit up when I told you “Cadira es bonita.” And that, was truly one of the most beautiful sights I’ve ever seen.
I hated it when we had to leave. It broke my heart, it really did. I hugged you all good-bye but I hugged you last–how terrible it was to leave you! I could tell that you hated it too. I knew that I would never see you again as I waved good-bye from the van window, watching your little body and big brown eyes fade away in the dusty road.
It seems strange to me that we, being the unlikely pair that we are–you an eight year old Mexican girl speaking no English and me, a teenaged, Canadian girl who spoke but a little Spanish, could connect so well, could befriend so quickly, could fall in love at first sight.
But we did, and I suppose that is because love at first sight is possible. After all, when God looked at us for the first time, He was in love. So that must be it, that must be why I could love you so much and you could love me back. Because God made it possible for He is love.
I only pray that you may come to know that kind of love, the ultimate, pure passion of Christ for you and that I may see you again one day when my journey here ends and I go to my eternal home.