Hidden Hope

This morning our team went to the city dump. Crammed in the bed of a truck, we bumped our way to the entrance of the dump. Along the sides of the road, piles of trash began appearing more and more. The truck came to a stop and we filed out, carrying the tubs of food we would serve to the people who listened to our message of the gospel.
     As I first turned to face the mountainous piles of trash, my heart was overwhelmed. My eyes scanned the miles of trash dotted with people searching for food and items to sell and recycle. We climbed the side of a hill to a shaded area where we would set up our table and gather the people who cared to come. Someone played the guitar, others sang, some of the girls on my team (myself included) drifted towards a group of wary and dirty children, and others began setting up the table of food.   
     As I began a conversation with a group of little girls my mind was racing from what I was seeing. Everyone’s feet were covered in black slime, the children’s hair was matted, and flies swarmed everywhere and on everyone. I breathed in the stomach-churning smell of so much trash, realizing this was the life these children were born into. Why them and not me God? By now my heart was physically aching.
      A missionary with us performed a mime about being trapped in a box (addictions and pain) and trying everything to get out. At the end, all he needed to do was pray for the key (salvation) to the door of his box. I watched the people watching him. Living like they are, without hope, searching for treasures in miles of trash is a box all by itself. They needed out and we were there to show them how.
     I wondered to myself if there was any beauty in a place like this. I believe I can see God in any situation or place. I saw God on the face of a woman who listened intently to our message of hope. I saw God in the shy smile of a young girl whose eyes screamed despair and longing for anything better than what she endured. I saw God when a bright orange butterfly caught my eye amidst the dull and faded piles of trash.
God was there.  
     These people spend their lives searching for more than food and items to sell. They are searching for hope.


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