I can’t explain it

I like to understand things. I want them to add up. 2 + 2 = 4 and that’s that.

But some things happen I can’t explain.
Mireya is one of those things.

letters-from-el-salvador

I look at my dresser now that I’m back from El Salvador. Such a mess. Papers, jewelry, trinkets.

But it’s the most beautiful mess in my house.

Because with each item, I see a person. Which is why my heart hurts now.

I hadn’t expected this. The people. I didn’t know they’d carve away a chunk of my heart for keeps in El Salvador.

How could I have known?

Now I wanted to return, not to the unknown this time, but to the known.

But would I see friends I recognized? And would they remember me? Our time together had been brief last summer, and contact with most since then had been minimal to none.

Oh, never underestimate the love of God between his people.
He has ways of binding hearts together we know nothing about.

When I first met Mireya a year ago, we could barely communicate. Through words anyway. But no matter. She was one of the unexplainable.

So when we arrived in Ciudad Real again a week ago Saturday night, I scanned the crowd for my young friend. When I finally saw her, her face lit up as brightly as mine.

Mireya-y-Lisa
 
She remembered me as much as I remembered her.

I handed her a gift I brought for her. She handed me flowers and a beautiful picture she had colored for me. All from a few smiles and a brief friendship a year ago.

Lord, you are so good. And so unexplainable.

Sunday morning I saw her again. I asked in my best charades if I could sit in the empty chair beside her, and she smiled big.

I had forgotten my Bible at the hotel, so when a scripture was referenced during the church service, Mireya would find the page in her Bible, lean in close to me, and put her finger on the verse being read.

It mattered not that I understood few Spanish words. The gesture of love I recognized.

When church was over, we hugged, planning on seeing each other one more time before I flew back to Alabama.

But when Sunday night arrived, Mireya did not. Instead, her sweet mother Norma handed me a letter. Written by Mireya. In all Spanish. I quickly found Stephany to translate.

The letter said Mireya was sick. She was apologizing for not being present for our farewell. But she was sending kisses and hugs to me, Jenna, and my spouse.

She ended with, “La quiero mucho de su amigo, Mireya.”

Be still my heart. This child is precious.

What did I do to deserve her love? Nothing.

I looked around for her mom. I had photos from last year I wanted to give to Mireya. But when my eyes connected with Norma near the kitchen, she gave me something instead. Her tears.

And without words being spoken, I knew the tough decision mom had to make to tell Mireya she was too sick to come to church that night to tell the North Americans good-bye. 

As Norma and I stood there, hugging tightly through tears on a breezy Salvadorian night, unexplainable love bound us together. The love that the Father gives his children for each other. Love that is fueled beyond words. Unaccountable and mysterious, yet certain and plain.

I still missed not getting to say bye to Mireya myself that night. But I’ll keep her handwritten letter amidst the beautiful stash of treasures on my dresser.

The unexplainable tokens of love. Gifts of extravagance from the Father’s heart, via his children, straight to my heart. Blessings that exceed expectations.

What do we do to deserve them? Nothing.

Sometimes you can explain love.
Sometimes you can’t. 
And that is fine with me.

For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.
Isaiah 55:9

* * *

Have you received love today for reasons you can’t explain?

Thank God for it. Then extend unexplainable love to someone yourself tomorrow.

Grace-in-El-Salvador-2012

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