Archive for September, 2011

22 September 2011

Gafas de Dios

It’s silly to think that God is contained within borders. Try as we may to divide up our lives into different sections or periods, the truth is that it’s extremely brief, and the entire thing belongs to God.

Yes it’s one semester in Spain– and it’s one short part of my life. So far on this trip, He has constantly been challenging me to make decisions that have longer lasting impact. To not chase after the things that satisfy instantly but momentarily, but purse the things that will bear fruit for years to come. To build relationships even when it makes everything more complicated. To love when it’s hard. To see each person for the beautiful brother or sister that they are. Oh, what a challenge it is.

I feel like it’s a time of being slapped in the face. A time of coming face to face with my ungodly habits, limited capacity to love, pride, stubbornness, and selfishness. Of course, our Father isn’t one to put us through a challenge without walking with us every step of the way. He’s held my hand through comforting songs, loving spanish amigos, wonderful new communities, great novels (Crazy Love by Francis Chan).

I’m striving to see everything through gafas de Dios (God glasses), including myself. It’s embarrassing how many times I try to take them off to try to look more hip, or to try to convince myself that it’s better to see a blurry reflection than one that shows my crystal clear flaws. Whether it be duct tape, krazy glue, rubber bands, or discipline, I’m determined to keep these glasses on.

9 September 2011

Communicación

Being (almost) totally immersed in another language has made me realize how many forms of communication there are. We talk with words, but we also talk with our eyebrows, our hands, our smiles, our legs, our sound effects. As I try to navigate my way through conversations with the program staff, my madre española, and even my fellow estudiantes, I am aware of how grateful I am that facial expressions are universal. I think God wanted to make it a little easier for us all to communicate– also the universality makes me wonder just how literal the idea of being “made in His image” is. (Hmmm. What does He look like?)

Last night, a handful of the Universidad de Autónoma and Tufts students sat on the grass and talked– or rather, communicated. There was a lot of laughter, a lot of smiles, and a fair share of awkward glances. We played telephone with silly sentences and spanish tongue twisters, and no matter how radically the palabras changed as it was passed from ear to ear, it was clear that we were all sharing in something together. Expressions cross cultures; there is the confused look of total cluelessness as the mensaje goes from an estudiante español to an estudiante americano, which is exactly the same as the expression displayed as the message gets relayed to another Spanish student.

After asking God for guidance on what I should be doing this summer, He led me to this group — syncronations.org. They are a group that helps students studying abroad in Madrid communicate with Spanish students the story of Jesus Christ and His incredible, relentless, powerful Love. That motivates me to master this mountain called español. What better story to tell in any language?

3 September 2011

El Comienzo

Currently– sitting on my bed in Spain.

Todavía no parace real que yo estoy en España ahora. Hay muchas cosas similares y a vaces yo siento como yo estoy en un barrio de Los Ángeles donde hay muchas signos en español.

While I was typing that I was debating wether or not I should keep my blog in spanish or english during my semestre here. Pues, there will probably be a strange version of Spanglish that results. Hopefully– or not, depending on wether or not I actually have readership– there will be more ‘Span-‘ than ‘-glish’ in the posts towards the end of the semester.

Spent the first night exploring La Latina with Jeselín– una aventura to remember. The lights on the stone streets and handsome buildings are lovely; maybe it’s the enchantment of traveling or the image of Europe, but even the graffiti looks beautiful here. I’ve decided that the día I can understand the jokes and commentary hidden in the graffiti is the day I have fully understood the Spanish language and culture.

My mamá is a sweet 60 year old woman with a gentle spirit and kind smile. She bickers about her son’s awkwardness and her husband’s obsession with fútbol. I can’t wait to get to know her better and become her híja for the semester.

I want to be captivated by the signs of God in this country– I’m always left in awe when He reminds me of His omnipresence in this world! I hope to carry His light in me as a guide (especially because I already lost my Spanish Lonely Planet guidebook in the Atlanta aeropuerto).