Afternoon at the river

What a day.
The sun was out. The wind was gone. It reached 25 degrees celcius.
Perfect weather for a holiday. Thankfully it was a national holiday today in Mexico.
We took full advantage of the situation and spent the afternoon at the river with friends.

Isn't the scenery amazing!
I've never seen "HR" rock that green. Usually this is a dry, dusty, sandy river bed. Because of the unusually wet weather we've had on the Baja a river is now flowing. There used to be all sorts of things in the river bed. Water wells, little shacks, roads...
They were all washed out along with the bridge.
The river is no longer a raging torrent but more of a shallow rippling stream.
Perfect for playing in.

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We had a good time visiting with some friends of ours. Angelina works in the clinic at the mission here. We have known her and her family for 4 1/2 years now...since the last time we spent time here. It's been nice to re-kindle and solidify old friendships and also make new ones this winter.

There were quite a surprising number of people at the river this afternoon. A lot of families having picnics and enjoying the water.
There were also people taking advantage of the plentiful supply of water in other ways. Women were scrubbing clothes while kids lathered up their hair in the river.
I really like being here. I enjoy the culture, I love the food, I respect and appreciate the people....(gonna miss it).

On a completely random and somewhat unrelated topic....
I'm doing a lot of contemplation and processing as we come to the end of our time here.

I think because of what we have experienced here in Mexico, what we have read and seen reported from Haiti, and other drama we have been going through (outside of Mexico) my perspective has really broadened this past year.
I really don't think anything shocks me that much any more.
Poor living conditions make me sad but they don't horrify me , news reports upset me but don't surprise me, finding out people have sin or ugly secrets in their lives disapoints me but it no longer shocks me. I am no longer one of those people who gasp and say "It can't be!" (and then turn and look away at something more pleasant), because it can. This is the world we live in. I don't think I've become a cynic or jaded but just more aware of reality. Realism without God leads to despair. Realism with God includes hope.
People are people, people make bad choices, people have a sin nature. In this world there will be suffering.
Our world is full of both beauty and ugliness,
mercy and hatred,
good and evil,
forgiveness and bitterness,
joy and sorrow,
miracles and heartbreaks.
These contrasts exist not only in nature and in society, but in our very own hearts. I think that was a big turning point in my own heart, knowing and fully understanding my own condition.

There is no room for judgement and pride when we can look, in honesty, at our own hearts and realize that in the same situation, in those same shoes, with the same history....we might just do the same thing. Sometimes the contrasts co-exist in the same heart. One thing to keep in mind is that the side we nurture and feed eventually takes over. There will always be a war inside me...the spirit of God vs. the sin nature. Which one will we feed?

If we get to that point of honestly and humbly examining our own hearts.... all that's left for us is acceptance of the reality of who people really are. Then we are able to meet them where they are at in order to love the way Christ loves.
"Eat the meat and leave the bones."
I heard someone say that in refference to listening to less than great sermons. It's an intesting thought though.
Look for the good and leave the bad...because usually it's all in there mixed together. Don't throw it all away, but use discernment.

It's an interesting way to look at life and people too.
Look for the good in people, it's there somewhere.
It may be hiding behind a lot of undesirable behavior or history but its there.
Separate the sin from the sinner. Can we do that?
God did.

Anyway....I have no idea what that rabbit trail had to do with swimming in a river.
I've been doing lots of thinking lately, I guess, and as usual that usually spills over into my posts.

Maybe because this country that I've grown to love is full of such stark contrasts too.

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