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When Beauty and Poverty Meet

Thoughts from Brian

Honduras is a country of contradictions.  As I walk to language school each day, I look out to the mountains that surround Siguatepeque and see the beauty of the hand of God.  To see the sun peak over the ridges in the morning or to see the thunderheads creep over them in the evening increases the beauty of God’s work ten fold.

Yet at the same time, I see the affects of poverty all over the city and more so in the hills around us.  I see among the neatly dressed children others in worn out clothing.  As I walk, I have to step around the filthy water pools in the dirt streets.  Here in this wonderful place, beauty meets poverty every day.

Today (Saturday, October 04, 2014) my son Isaiah and I were given the wonderful opportunity to help relieve a little bit of poverty.  We traveled from Siguatepeque to one of the poorest and roughest areas of Tegucigalpa Honduras.  We had to carry the lumber we were using to build a crippled man a new home about a quarter mile through the narrow steep steps and many turns of the ally ways that lead to the spot where the man’s old shack of a home once stood.

When we arrived at the spot we were treated to the view of a gorgeous valley that overlooks a small river that runs through the area.  As far as you can see the man’s home overlooks hundreds of simple structures with rusty tin roofs that are the homes of the people there.

There was a mixed company of people, both local Hondurans and Americans helping to tear down the man’s shack to build him something new.  We worked together for just over four hours before the man’s new 16×18 foot home complete with a wood floor and a shiny tin roof stood complete.

Charlie is the 70 something year old retired pastor from the states who called the team together to help build the home.  He has lived in Honduras for seven years and ministers to the people in this area.  I asked Charlie, “Who are all these people who turned out to help?”  Charlie admitted he was not sure.  Some were from his church, others were family members of the crippled man, and the rest were missionary friends who responded to Charlie’s call for help.

The house is nothing fancy, but it was a blessing to stand among the mixed and matched group of my brothers and sisters to take a picture of the completed home.  It was a beautiful thing to both experience and behold.  This is what happens when beauty and poverty meet.

Poverty is not always a bad thing.  There is a kind of spiritual poverty that brings the believer to a special place of grace in his or her life.  In the sermon on the mount Jesus mentions the type of poverty of which I speak when he says, “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven (Matthew 5:3).”

When we reach the point in our lives when we realize that we need nothing more than God, our poverty comes in contact with his beauty, and when this happens we hear God say to us that He has come “…to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of joy instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair (61:3 Isaiah ).”  This is what happens when beauty and poverty meets in God’s Kingdom.  When this happens, our only response is to let the beauty of Christ in us touch the poverty in the hearts of others.  Go in Christ and let His beauty in you touch someone today.