Here we are in beautiful Puerta Vallarta with some dear friends enjoying the gift of friendship, great food, gorgeous sunrises, sunsets and beaches! We have discovered that all the ideas we had of what this would be like was totally unfounded. Because all I had experienced had been border towns where we use to drive for Mexican vanilla, huge bags of sugar and brightly painted pottery, my preconceived mental pictures of what we would find here was not only limited but very wrong. As we flew over the town waiting to land, it became apparent that it certainly would look different from Juarez or Reynosa. The mountains which stood so majestically around the beached town were so tall and rugged that it just amazed me how diverse the landscape truly was. We landed and immediately was taken back at how friendly the airport staff beckoned to our every need. A young man who was missing one hand insisted on helping us and saw us through customs, even helping me fill out a form when I didn’t grasp the questions being ask. From day one we have encountered people from different social backgrounds, different cultures, different religions, and different lifestyles, convene together in restaurants, around the pool and places we have gone to explore.
My girlfriends and I went to ceramics to paint some plates which we will be so proud to take home and Show off our “talent” of Mexican painted brightly colored flowers and fruit. As we were painting, a same sex couple came up to the young man and his wife who run the painting hut. I saw them give money to the couple and told them to put the money aside for their two children for college or weddings. The young mom cried and thanked the men. When we heard them talking, the story unfolded. The men had been coming here for several years and had met Irwin and Graciela the first year they visited. From that point on the couple had saved all their change and had converted the change into dollars, which is the money they had given them while we were there. I’m ashamed of what my thoughts were when I had watched the same sex couple walk up that day. My mind had immediately began to focus on their lifestyle, which is very differently from what I feel God had intended for us! But as I watched this kindness transpire, I realized that even though our lifestyles and opinions are very different, their acts of kindness had shown me something. I need to start looking a little more closely at people and listen. Listen to their stories. Listen to their dreams or needs. I know I can’t give every person I meet money or pay for their children’s education, but I can listen to them, and treat them for what they are…children of our great Creator, who made each of us unique in His image . That they are not just people helping us at airports or carrying our luggage to the rooms or driving the buses which take us to markets. They are individuals who are loved by God and who deserve to hear how much God loves them. It is my prayer that my eyes will be open to seeing the people who are truly put in my path and to not only open my ears to listen to them, but to open my heart to how God may use me to witness to someone, anyplace, anytime.
That is my dream!