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Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Contentment, Gratitude and Humility

Contentment, gratitude, and humility go together. These three are virtues that are not necessarily exclusive of Christian character, though they are spoken much in Scripture. Having spent eleven days in Perú on a medical mission trip I have seen these three in action and it has reminded of my need of possessing them everyday. They may be easier upon my immediate return but sustaining them in a world where the opposite of them is praised is always hard.

The people we met were content. They weren't necessarily happy, for this is subjective, but they showed contentment. They accepted their circumstances and didn't complain about them. Many work in farming, their rough, callous hands, clothing stained with their daily labor, and their dirty feet, none took away this fact. A mark of being content is gratefulness. All of the patients that had surgeries showed gratefulness. They were grateful for receiving something they didn't expect. None of them boasted and pretended to be something they weren't. They were humble. A humble person does not pretend to be anything they are not, nor they think highly of themselves. They are not self-concious of themselves. They live before others as they are, not hiding or pretending anything.

Two ladies watching a religious precession, sitting on the steps of the cathedral, pulled out their lunch out of a bag. The older lady, without teeth, pulled her potatoes and peeled them while the other one also took out the vegetables and eggs. I saw no meat. But they appeared content, grateful and had no regards for themselves. They ate their lunch in front of others. They were two humble ladies. I thought of taking a picture but I knew then that I would have ruined their time.

I thought of my life as a child in El Salvador and how similar it was to so many people I saw. I remember how content I was. And thought of now. How different it is. I have much more and don't appear as content, grateful nor humble. I thanked God for what he has reminded in this trip. I prayed that he would make me humble, grateful and content.

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