We were lost, it was official. Somewhere south of the California boarder, near the ocean, on a street with no name connected to another street with no name, we stood looking for a sign. How did we find ourselves walking down an unpaved street in a little town in Mexico without kidnappers in sight?
We had a purpose when we started our little journey five hours earlier. We had left Tecate, Mexico with three English speakers and one Spanish speaker on a quest to pick up a large table just across a few towns or so and deliver it to the Spanish speakers new home.
We had all piled into the truck and took off without a map. We knew the general direction and had our smartphones from California so we thought we would find it easily and enjoy the adventure of a ride in the dangerous Mexico that we had heard all these crazy stories about.
What we found was that we were riding along in another country where the signs didn't read in our language or even make sense sometimes to even the Spanish native speaker. There were few signs at that and some pointing in the wrong direction, even toward a bridge that was not quite finished. Thankfully we didn't totally follow that sign over.
Along the way we also encountered several kind Mexican people who would give us directions from stores and even out the window in a passing car. It seemed they knew that there was not a clear way to find places in Mexico. Losing your way in a foreign land could have been a scary and tense thing but because of the awesome people in our big white truck we all just laughed and prayed.
So there we were when we ended up on that street that we were sure had to be THE street even though we couldn't find a name on it or a sign for it. Our brave leader got out and decided to go house to house and ask. I was walking along side the Spanish speaking native Mexican and I just smiled. I took a moment to stop and just watch him.
It was amazing to me how he just engaged these strangers who were obviously not the Mexico kidnappers we hear about in the USA. These were true Mexicans, just neighbors in a neighborhood helping out someone asking for directions. This is when we got to experience a true picture of Mexico. It is the people.
I think the face of Mexico for me isn't about the mafia or crazy kidnapping stories. It's is about the face of the elderly lady in a humble home that we visited in our search. She had a sweet smile and a heart to help us, even engaging her daughter to help us in our quest.
Mexico is about the hearts that live there. Yes, it is a poor country in comparison to ours, but a kinder one for it. Only in Mexico can I see a dog sleeping on a roof of a house or could I roll down my window and ask my neighbor car for directions.
We never did find our destination in Mexico that day. It was getting dark and we needed some good food from our temporary home base. Yet, this little adventure trip for me was not wasted.
I learned more about my friends in the car and that they could roll with it and not sweat the small stuff. I saw a picture of Mexico that I love. A picture of a humble everyday life Mexico you can't see on the news or in tourist zone. Real Mexicans who have a humble life that we can't imagine living in and yet they smile, love their kids, and live happily ever after.
Yes, we were lost in Mexico that day but truly we were found in a way. At least for me I saw how I can get caught up in the stuff of this life forgetting what really matters is people. God sees our hearts that beat to the same rhythm as the Mexican people. I will not be praying that they get the money to fix their country but that they find out God loves them right where they are at.