May 16, 2013

A Name

"You say you care about the poor.
Then tell me, what are their names?"
-Gustavo Gutierrez We are still learning names.   The community that we live in has a population of approximately 12,000 people.  I would guess that our dusty, nameless street has about seventy people living on it and there is a lot of transiency as people move into the low cost neighborhood in hopes of making a life for themselves and their families in the capital.  Our next door neighbors alone have seventeen people, three generations living together (embarrassingly on the same size property that Kevin and I – yes, just two of us, share). Do I know my neighbors names?  Some. What would it mean to my neighbors if I knew their names?  It would mean that I value them, that I think they are important, that I think they have something to contribute, that they are special. The kids have been easy to meet, but getting to know their parents has taken some time.  This has been a process and we expect that it will continue to be as we are welcomed into the community. But many of them know my name.  "Cassandra," they yell as I come walking up the street.  "How was your day?  What did you do?  Can we play basketball with you?  Do you have any books that we can read today?  Can you give me a glass of water?  Can I get a mango off your tree?" We are getting there.  We are learning each others names and more importantly, each others stories.  We are sharing our hopes and dreams, along with the difficulties of this journey. Our hope is that we may continue walking together, hand and hand into the future of knowing each other well - of knowing each others names and stories.
Side note: As a way to better remember names, Kevin and I have an ongoing word document on our computer where we jot down new names that we learn.  They include a description of the home and/or what is sold there along with their names.  I know it sounds silly, but it has proven to be a useful tool.


Anonymous said...

Paula, Yolanda, Juanita, Juan

Anonymous said...

Thank-you for this great reminder, I love the quote at the end. Erin

Anonymous said...

Isaiah 43:1
But now, this is what the LORD says-He who created you , O Jacob,
He who created you, O Isreal:
"Fear not, for I have redeemed you;
I have called you by name; you are mine.