The world we live and those that surround us continue to shape us every day into the people we are and aid us in who we are becoming. The human kind is an interesting creation. We are complex and confusing, with emotions that are constantly changing. Every person has a unique story to tell, and the way we live our lives is a reflection of that story. Although we are uniquely individual and all have our own to tell, it is not without the support of other people’s stories. We exist as one community having marked and unmarked effects on one another. I would not be who I am today without the divine meetings and impact of those in my life. These interactions of stories have changed the course of my life forever. I believe in the power of community. If given the opportunity, I believe that everyone we meet has the ability to change us if we allow them to. Although it may be for worse, I can say most of mine have been for the better, even if the road was hard. I believe that every encounter with another person is a divine intermingling of stories, and there are some encounters in my life I simply cannot forget. It may exist only for a single moment, but that moment has the potential to make a profoundly powerful impact.
These moments have the ability to take your breath away or simply to be passed by without notice until much later when the significance of that meeting hits, but nonetheless, they change you. My moment begins thousands of miles away in Santiago, Guatemala in an orphanage named the Colony. Its appearance is lack luster on approach, but what awaits is something very deceiving of its first impression. My encounter begins with beautiful three-year-old Brian, a ruddy little boy playing in the dirt with small candy wrappers. I was instantly drawn in to his lively spirit, simplistic joy, and welcoming smile. I also got to meet his sister Jamie and instantly and peculiarly became part of their family. There was no escaping the love I so innocently had for them. It was instant and only for a moment, but I knew that it would be never ending. My broken Spanish ended with little communication throughout the day, but somehow it did not matter. The true meaning of actions speak louder than words was finally clear on that day.
These children changed me, and I will never forget them. I let them into my life, and they changed the way I loved and had joy. Who I was and the meaning of love became all the sudden different. It became one that did not have walls and that loved exponentially.
Always allow people to see you for who you really are and allow them to have an impact. Never lose that sense of wonder and the ability to let those you encounter change you. Without Brain and Jamie, my world would surely be different… Always allow love. Believe in the power of community.