We awoke with the sun, as it crested the hilltops. The cool of the morning slowly dissipated into the hurried anticipation of a new day. The valley teamed with fresh life once dormant as the moon made its course across the vibrant night sky. We have grown accustomed to these games that nature plays with the sun. It is as if a song plays every morning to slowly wake us from our turgid slumbers.
First the distant note of the birds begins the symphony of life. The breeze next with its subtle flurry and rest. Roosters, cows, and rural fauna add their harmonies. And then a different sort of life tunes its strings and commences to play. The low grumble of pickup trucks and motorcycles is heard as a constant rhythm throughout the orchestral piece. A sense of urgency now envelopes the valley as nature continues its song. It is with this urgency that we rise each morning.
Routines differ among us, but the cadence remains constant. A rub of the eyes, a slow yawn and stretch as the body seeks to reclaim what is seemed to be lost in the deep dreaming of a summer’s night. Once the fog has cleared each makes his way to his very own fortress of solitude, a refuge of peace and quiet where the song of the day can be best heard. There are no companions here but the good Lord, His creation, and His soft whisper through the diligent study of His Word.
We hear the birds, the breeze, and the other fauna as we converse with God; but one thing rings truer than all else. As He deems it so, we hear the voices. Faint at first but ever growing. We do not hear the chatter of a foreign tongue; but a soul: breathing, living, crying out for a savior. It is a sobering note to the symphony we enjoy these mornings, but it is the very crescendo of all we hear. It is this that reminds us why we wake at all.
As the early morning is a feast for the ears, the hour that follows allows the eyes to eat their fill. After breaking fast, we scurry into the pickup truck that we trust will ferry us to our destination. The once gentle breeze grows into a furry of noise, drowning out all that was once heard. Though mere inches away from one another, we are again isolated in a deafening silence. There is not much to do on these journeys but marvel at the Creator’s hand. His attention to detail in every leaf and branch, His creativity in the plethora of colors, and His shear power in the ease at which the Earth is bent into shapes never before seen by our young eyes. Yet again, as in the song, the focal point of God’s masterpiece lies not in these brush strokes of majesty, but in the faces of those we see.
Some smile as they ponder the ungainly sight that they behold in the form of six gringos in the back of a pickup truck, but most do not. We whir past in a frenzy of noise and wind, but not before peering through a window open only for an instant. It is in this moment that we catch an ever fleeting glimpse into a soul: living, breathing, crying out for a savior. Though we wish it were not so, our hearts know that these souls have only the name of their savior, nothing more. It is this deep anguish that reminds us of our purpose for embarking at all.
This unorthodox journey of sights and sounds gives time to ponder and to prepare. But when our boots touch down in the dry dirt of a foreign land, we know that we follow in the Lord’s footsteps. For He has predestined– before He separated the great waters, before the stars were made to light, even before that first great symphony of life thundered on the seventh day– that we would form the very footprints that we leave behind us each day as we carry His gospel. For He has brought us here and made it so. After all, it is only by His grace that we stand at all; and because of this same grace that we walk the mountains, searching for souls: living, breathing, crying out for a savior.