Finally we arrive and get out and it is just so beautiful. Nothing is fancy, but beauty is all around us. These beautiful kids, the open ocean all around, the boats and trees swaying in the light breeze blowing today.
The kids are shy. I notice this first. They are not running out to greet us, although they see us and come out cautiously, following us to an open play space with their shy smiles. We introduce ourselves,
and the kids see we are ready to play with them as we begin to push them on the swings and kick around a ball.
And we start to play when it begins to happen. I've seen it in so many places we've stopped on missions trips before. They run up at you, and grab your hand, staring up at you with big eyes. They are all asking the same question. Not with words. They don't speak English, and we don't speak Spanish. But this time, we don't need a translator. Their big, clear eyes stare up at you and ask one thing.
Will you love me?
That's it. Will you love me? Please? Their eyes beg us to answer just that one question. They just want someone to love them.
And we all have the same answer for them. This is why we came - to love. To show them Christ's love. We will eventually have to leave, but Christ will never leave them. And we can show them how Christ will love them through our love and actions. We reach down and pick them up, smile wide, and give them a huge hug. And now they are smiling too. Because they can see our answer. They can see, even though we don't say anything. They know right away what we are saying.
Yes. You are loved.