I was in El Salvador this past week on a mission trip and I updated that blog with a few posts and I wanted to share them with you! So here's some of what I experienced in El Salvador
Let us have faith;
all this will pass away
like a national nightmare,
and we shall awake to the Lord´s great feast,
Let us be filled with this hope.
- Monsignor Oscar Romero
October 15, 1978
When the Carmelite nun stood in front of the altar where Oscar Romero was murdered - or as the glittering letters beside the large crucifix said, "where...Oscar Romero offered his life to God" - and asked us for one word that described Father Romero, that was the first word to pop into my head. Faithful.
Faithful to a lot of things. Faithful to his people and, most importantly, faithful to God and His word. Faithful to the point of death.
The front of the chapel where he was murdered is covered in windows, where you can watch cars stream by. The nun told us about how Romero had received death threats. Descriptive death threats. Death threats for that day. She told us how, he probably watched as the car drove up and stopped at the door of the church, how Romero must have known what that car was there for. But he was faithful and as he had to have watched as the car window rolled down, Romero had to have known wwhat was to come next. And he remained faithful.
The nun turned to us and said that the word that we had thought about Monsignor Romero was something that was also inside of us. That the word we had imagined for this great martyr was also a seed contained inside of us.
As a delegation, we are faithful, probably more faithful than I first imagined. We sat down with a pastor from the Lutheran church and Bill (a member of our delegation) asked what our presence did for the Salvadorean church. He said we were angels and that we had listened to God´s call in our lives. We were faithful.
It has been a hard day. We have stared at bloodied clothing, cried over pictures of murdered men and women who suffered unspeakable torture and been humbled by the heart of a people who are bowed down so low. And I think, what can I contribute? With wounds so large, I stare and wonder, what can I do to heal them? And honestly, there is nothing I can do, except offer to walk with them and share in the horror that they felt they were alone in. You have to take each step in faith with the same faithfulness that Oscar Romero displayed in his life and his death.
I am no martyr, but I know that if I can keep the hope and the faith, like the Salvadoreans I have met, I can be assured of the Lord´s great feast, just like Romero was.