Riding through Cuatro, I was drawn to a group of people that were sitting in chairs in front of a house. Just sitting. These houses are about four chairs' length across, and about three rows of chairs were set out. Each was filled. An aisle ran through the center of this set up. There was no conversation; all chairs faced the house. These people just stared ahead…
There was a candle burning. In the middle of the day there is need for neither heat nor light. As I pondered through curiosity and confusion, my eyes and heart took hold of the tiny white casket next to the candle, in front of the crowd. Pictured above was a small girl. What these people were just staring ahead at was their lifeless daughter, sister, granddaughter, niece, neighbor or friend of four years. She lost her life fighting Dingy Fever. Her young, weak, fragile body couldn't handle the attack.
She will lie out in this casket for around ten days after her death before the burial. Time is needed for relatives and loved ones to come and say goodbye. So outside her body lies for all to see and remember. Ten days long.
A few days later, a man came with what looked like a leaf blower. Whatever it was, it was supposed to rid the community of Dingy Fever. Mothers held their babies tightly and steered their children to the side of the street opposite of the Dingy Fever/Leaf Blower. Most held small pieces of towel over their mouths, some just lifted the seam of their shirt up over their mouths to breathe through. One hand covers one ear, a shoulder shrugs to cover the other ear…the noise was just so loud. But everyone just watched, standing close to family, friends, neighbors; praying this will be the ultimate elimination.
I pray that I can forever hold onto and cherish the memories of a community living in absolute desperation, and how it looks in the midst of such times and circumstances. Turning mourning into dancing is real, it cannot escape this place. The harder the times, the mightier the dance. Broken homes, tattered clothing, scarred skin, diseased bodies…as far as my eyes can see standing on these streets. Sadness and frustration causes alcoholism and other types of addictions, violence and other forms of abuse. Sickness even to the point of death. This community is attacked by Lies bringing shame and guilt and hopelessness. It is heart breaking to walk by and see the ones who cannot resist the Lies…sympathy in the most raw form. Futuristically thinking can motivate life, but existing in the same tomorrow blackens daylight.
It is undeniably inspiring, though, to see the ones who withstand. They look straight up, they full-heartedly focus, and they dance. They dance passing the homes of their neighbors and they dance into their own. They dance with whatever clothing, or lack there of, remains on their backs. They dance for the true beauty promised within the skin they're in. They dance with all of their might, tears streaming down their cheeks, as they stare at her casket.
An abandoned baby boy, only three months old, was brought to our open arms about a week ago. He is an absolutely perfect creation. And just yesterday another set of twin boys were dropped off and completely signed over in a matter of minutes. They were simply too heavy a burden to a mother that could not care for them and the three other children that she has chosen to keep. We pray for them. Both boys have a place where no hair grows on the back of their heads; they probably haven't been off of their backs much for their entire eight months of uncared for lives. They, too, are absolutely perfect creations. All three will now know love. And they will someday know that they were chosen to be rescued. And they will someday know all of the reasons why. There will be glory that day, just as there was glory the day each of them were taken into ready and devoted arms. Is their truth in love at first sight? Absolutely. We all dance for that.