September 7, 2013 Santiago Atitlán, Guatemala
“I offer the work of my hands as a bouquet of life for the good of all. Oh, Searcher of hearts, at the end of this day, present me as a gift for the entire world. May it be so.”
– Prayer for the Wisdom Hour, Macrina Wiederkehr
The kingdom of heaven is like buried treasure that unearths itself when we least expect it (Mt. 13:44). Like a breeze that comes to us while we are jogging in 90 degree weather, or an unexpected kiss that floods us with excitement, or flowers bursting forth just a little early while they litter the snow melting away from the earth.
The smiles and hugs I received this past week from the women and men at the Casa de Abuelitos were, in fact, unearthed kingdom treasures. As the elders giggled at my attempt to speak Tzutujil while I handed out tortillas, I swear I saw the kingdom being excavated and unearthed piece by piece. The kingdom was as close as wrinkled flesh forming smiles to make way for elegant laughter that filled the small tiled room where stories and heartache and dreams and regrets and hopes were shared.
As Julia taught me to clap and pound masa into 400 tortillas, as Lidia filled each thermos with hot soup, as Bernavela sat and listened to each one of the elders’ concerns, as Isaías performed oral Tzutujil stories for the community, as I strummed my guitar, as each elder kissed my cheek while they departed, I saw the sparkling of kingdom treasures illuminating our work and our day.
In their daily labors, the staff at Casa de Abuelitos reminds me that it is our very work that is to be broken open as a gift for the world.
The kingdom will continue to be unearthed as it chooses through justice, through mercy, through dreams, through story, through the Spirit breaking open air and space and our work to unearth the kingdom right in front of us when we least expect it.
The kingdom of heaven is like buried treasure…
I wonder where it will be unearthed in front of us this day
in our lives,
in our love,
in our daily labor.
Astonished by the Treasure,
Bernavela makes announcements about discounted medical treatment at the local hospital.
Julia teaches me to perfect my tortillas.
Lidia passes out food to the elders.
Isaías translates a Spanish children’s book into Tzutujil (the local Mayan language). He provides a wonderful storytelling experience every other week for the elders.
Bernavela asked me to bring my guitar and play for the elders every Friday. What an honor!