I remember two years ago I made a trip that impacted my life. I remember sitting on a pair of splintering steps as I watched the sunrise over the beautiful vast landscape. Just two years ago I went on a missions trip with my church. Now, I understand that not everyone is the religious type but I still feel like the experience that I went through at just the age of twelve could impact just about anyone. I remember waking up early to help lift walls and put together food packages. I remember feeling lifted up as high as the Empire State Building as I looked around and saw other people who had gathered to contribute to a cause greater than themselves.
The simplistic beauty in everything was that of a small flower. Hope bloomed around me everywhere and I felt like I was finally seeing the light, a purpose, like the silky petals of a rose as it opens up to show its beauty to the world. However, even so those moments weren't always there to comfort me no matter how much I wanted them to. The crushing reality of the reason why I was there dawned on me about the second day. I was at the Black Mesa an Indian Reservation and I was there because they were struggling. They were overlooked by everyone like a piece of trash kicked to the curb. Granted I know that not every Indian tribe or reservation is disregarded or in such a sate as this one was. However, seeing these people and the lives they lived was very humbling.
I believe on the third day the Pastor who we were helping came up to me and a few other people. He wanted to know if we wanted to go with him do deliver the food packages that were put together. If I'm fully honest I partially did it to get out of work. I was paining some steps and had been at it for a few hours and I frankly wanted a break as terrible as that sounds. So, I went with him and went we drove up to the first house my gut wrenched. My heart ached as if someone very powerful was crushing it with their fist. The house itself was probably just a little bigger than my room. Walking in we delivered the food and I quickly noticed a few things. The floor was just the dirt ground, the walls were dried mud, rusty metal scraps covered made up the roof, they had no refrigerator and there was one small bed in the corner. The mother offered for us to sit so we did. Then she called in her family and the hole in my heart was drilled deeper. This small house was accommodating a woman her husband, their four kids, the woman's sister, and mother! They had no running water, no electricity, and they all looked very tired. The youngest was probably around four or five.
So, after they revived their food which they accepted graciously I sat for a second trying to recollect my thoughts. Looking at this family's situation I came to realize that I have a pretty amazing life. I am lucky enough to not have to worry about where my next meal is coming from. However what astounded me more was once we got there and the whole family gathered all we did was simply talk. We each shared our life stories of knowing Christ and what he has done for us. We then proceeded to visit others and deliver food and their situations were just as heart breaking. One of the old women we saw was carrying for her husband who lay in bed. When we got there we soon came to learn that he was dying. His mental state was deteriorating and he didn't saying anything more than a few grunts.
Each of the people's situations that we saw were at rock bottom. Most of them had no running water and many had little hope left. However, the fact that we went simply to share our stories and help them know that their next few meals were there waiting made me feel better than any gift could. Once we got back the Pastor turned to us with a sad face. He thanked us all for coming. He said that ti makes an impact in the people's lives we see and I totally agreed. Looking back over at the paint can and steps that awaited me I couldn't believe that at first my only reason to go was to get out of work. There was so much more to the visits we made and everyone had a different story.
To me, this is what I believe human connection is. Human connection is taking a step back from being wrapped up in your life. It's looking to others and wanted to get to know them. Get to know their hardships, their worries, their, dreams. Human connection is being understanding and empathetic. Human connection is trying to understand other peoples lives. With out human connection we may be able to exist but we aren't able to truly live.