Tuesday, February 9, 2010

How Much Can One Family Take?

A question came up in a discussion I was having with some folks today in El Salvador, “How much can one family take?” Approximately 9 years ago, El Salvador encountered a horrific earthquake and during a couple violent upheavals of a mountainside, one family lost a son, a wife lost her husband and a young child lost a dad. As a result of the loss, the mom found it hard to experience “joy” again.

Fast forward the tape, this same family’s “other” son, this past year was accused of some horrific crimes and placed in a Salvadorian prison. This boy, too, was married and had children. Everyone knew the charges were false, however, because of the impoverished nature and lack of resources of the family, this boy was within a “hair” of being sentence to an 8 year prison term.

Poverty has all kinds of impact. Something that many of us take for granted in the US, “justice” or innocent until proven guilty becomes fuzzy when someone can’t really defend themselves due to lack of social standing or limited resources.

An organization stepped in and found a lawyer who navigated their way through the local justice system in El Salvador. After a number of months, the trumped up charges were dropped and the boy was set free. In fact, just a few short weeks ago, the boy’s mom and dad, wife and kids had a BIG “thanksgiving” celebration at their church. Those in attendance that day saw the boy’s mom exhibiting great joy. Joy spread all across her face, joy because her only “other” living boy was potentially lost and now was found.

I wonder, how would you respond if “life” threw a couple of curves balls like this your way? Often times, life in this world stinks. I can confidently say that I look forward to heaven where there will be no more tears and no more pain!!!