For those of you know my son Ian, you know he doesn’t talk a whole lot. He’s a quiet kid, and nowhere near as outgoing as his big sis. But when he does speak, he makes it count for something.
Today a man stopped by the YWAM base. Ian went with Judy, one of the other staff members, to answer the front gate. The man asked Ian where he was from. His response was classic Ian, “Yo no soy un gringo, soy salvadoreño!” The English translation is, “I’m not a gringo (that means American by the way) , I’m Salvadoran!” Because in his mind he is. And of course he had to be forceful because he’s sick of people thinking he’s American because El Salvador is his home, darn it!
Anyway, the thing about Ian’s comment is that he sees himself as part of El Salvador. He embraces, loves, and relates to the culture of El Salvador. He has stepped out of his birthplace…and honestly I don’t think he remembers too much about the ol’ U.S. of A. He can love and grow and learn in El Salvador without all the judgementalism, paternalism, cultural baggism, and all those other isms that I get hung up on.
So, I guess that’s why Jesus said acting like a kid wasn’t such a bad idea. Because kids are open to new things, and are willing to love and relate to something different from what they knew…something different than their own frame of reference. They accept and love and trust so much more easily than adults.
I wish I didn’t still get frustrated with El Salvador. But I want to be honest and so here’s the confession. El Salvador still makes me crazy! I’ve been here 19 months and I would love say I’ve completely adjusted. Will I ever adjust? Honestly, I don’t know. But there is much to love. I want to see this country with the eyes of Ian. As a beautiful country, with loving people…as home.