It's been a while since I posted. Life has been full to bursting lately, but now I'm ready to continue our journey of the Mexican Caribbean.
Our first stop was Roatan, Honduras. It’s a beautiful little island filled with lush greenery, surrounded by clear blue-green water. Our ship docked and we were able to walk off into a beautifully manicured area of shops and perfect beach getaway. The forecast was for rain, but it held off until we were just heading back to the ship. How wonderful to have a full day of sun! But not everybody on Roatan was excited we were there.
After entering several shops of the “tourist village,” I began to notice a pattern. Very few of the workers seemed glad to see us. Some leaned on piles of t-shirts or stayed busy with their cell phones. Others averted their eyes as we entered or gave an obligatory, unsmiling nod. Why such cold greetings? We were happy to be there for a day of fun, but didn’t feel welcome. Even our exclamations of delight over our pistachio gelatos didn’t bring a smile to the servers at the stand. Did they see us as rich snobs?
From there we rented a taxi to tour beyond the facade. Our driver and I struggled to communicate in limited phrases of English and Spanish. He was polite, but reserved. He took us to the highest points of the island to see the best views, always facing our ship. We wound through hillsides of small homes hung with brightly colored wash. We ended downtown, where the shops were more authentic. He seemed nervous to let us out and came looking for us when we lingered very long. Was it unsafe? We wondered.
But there, we met people willing to interact with us. We looked at their wares, hounded constantly by vendors desperate to sell us anything they could. Annoying as that was, at least here they were glad to see us. But there was one with whom we felt an immediate bond, a woman we will see again someday.
As we walked into one alcove with tiny shops on either side, there was music blaring. We didn’t recognize the songs, but they were all about Jesus, and Him we know. Full of alleluias and praise with a beat that set our bodies in motion, our moods immediately brightened. I looked in the direction of the music and saw an old woman in a white plastic chair.
“I love your music,” I said. She smiled and patted her heart and nodded. “We love Jesus too,” I said.
“Yes…Jesus,” she said, and we were instant family. Despite the disparity of age, culture, language, and lifestyle, we knew we have a bond we will share for eternity. We are saved by the same Savior and living our lives in gratitude and service to Him. For now, we live in separate worlds, vastly different from one another. But we’ll see her again someday. In heaven, there will be no barriers to separate us, no more rich and poor - privileged and impoverished - only love and praise in our forever home.