Friday, October 24, 2008

Juarez Reflection: Like a Bullhorn in a Library

Her swollen eyes rolled toward me in salutation, and I could see that the anguish which they expounded was not from any sort of physical pain but rather from her intense psychological distress; from the breaking of her spirit.

Hermana Jenny said hello to me quietly as I brushed past the hordes of people to enter the kitchen of “El Comedor.” Every word spoken by Jenny was tightened by her quivering lips, and her eyes rolled and swayed from side to side as if she were intensely checking some list or roster for a missing item. In reality, one could tell that she was probably going through her recent purchases trying to figure out what thing she could have scrimped on – what luxury or extra dessert or fashionable article of clothing or ice cold venti latte had lead her empty handed to a place of need.

Over the clatter of talking folks and the banging of dishes in the kitchen, Jenny’s desperation screamed out like a bull horn in a library. She hadn’t brought enough food. There were so many hungry mouths and too many empty spoons. She knew in her heart that, like the multitudes on only crumbs and a prayer, her flock would be fed this day – even if it meant there would be a screeching metal sound as the spoons brush the bottom of the pan. The pantry, however...

There wasn’t enough.

She couldn’t give them their meager portion of rice and beans.

Some would walk away downtrodden and worried about tomorrow.

In that clamorous kitchen, she sat alone in her dark subjective prison, panting and sweating under the weight of her cross.

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