Everywhere you go in Guatemala there are guards with shot guns who stand in doorways of stores and shops to protect said stores and shops from being robbed. We get used to seeing them and really hardly notice them until you feel you need them.
Today, I left a well guarded hospital and walked one block to a well guarded pharmacy. When I headed back to the hospital, I noticed two men passing each other on the sidewalk and then began fighting. I stood there looking around wishing someone would do something, but what? All the guards in the doors stood watching the fight as one guy was obviously winning and the other, obviously loosing. The people walking by either stopped to watch from a distance or kept on walking ignoring what was going on.
Once the fight stopped and the men went their separate ways, I continued back to the hospital as quickly as I could, just wanting to feel safe again. I could not help but think of those two men just trying to survive in a desperate world. Who was the victim and who was the aggressor? The majority of the people here are poor, tired and hungry; just trying to feed their families. In this environment, for many, it is a fight to stay alive, to protect your own and what is yours. Desperate people do desperate things. I want to help them all. They need God, education, love, food, work, self respect. The need is great. We can just keep on helping those around us but the needs are so great. With so little, you can do so much but it appears to barely make a difference in the grand scheme of things. We are happy for those we can help and are always looking for ways to help more. Surely, there is enough food and work for everyone in this world. There is a better way.
Even when the way goes through
I’m not afraid
when you walk at my side.
Your trusty shepherd’s crook
makes me feel secure. (Ps 23:4 Mes)