I am a goal oriented guy.  I admit it.  I was formed in the 70’s when it was communicated that successful people set goals and pursued them.  We were taught “aim at nothing and you’ll hit it everytime”.  The encouragement was “shoot for the moon and even if you don’t hit it maybe you’ll bang your head on the ceiling.”  “Doing something is always better than doing nothing”.  Anyway, you know where I am coming from.  So I set goals.

One of my goals set way back in January was to have 100 meaningful conversations about life, living, love and Jesus.  I was thinking especially with people that don’t identify in a strong way with local church participation or a strong personal Christian faith.  I meet with church goers all the time and as good as they are, I need to get out of the cocoon several times  a week and breathe some fresh air. Thus the goal.

So here I am this afternoon sitting next to a seniorly, Latino woman, having to spend some time together as we waited for an event to take place.  I am an incredibly social guy so I started sputtering in my broken Spanish and switched to English when I realized her English as bad as it was, was still better than my Spanish.  We spent an amazing 20 minutes together.

It all started well when she informed me that she was from El Salvador (not Mexico).  I gained points when I could say with verity that not only had I visited her country (I had several years ago now) but that I loved her people.  She smiled.  When I mentioned that I loved papussas (check that one on line) she smiled even more broadly.  Food is the meeting point for many good things in life.

We talked about politics and power (and their abuse), we talked about love and family (and it’s power), we talked about living simply and enjoying the simple things of life that more money can’t buy more of.  We talked about her four children scattered around El Salvador and the United States.  We talked about her 14 grandchildren that show her respect because she is now “old”.  We talked about her son who is divorced and now remarried but carries 6 children with two different women and how hard that  is for her.

We talked about my visit to her country 7 years ago when I addressed a conference on the subject of “Where Is The Father?”  I spoke to 3 groups: an open public audience, a university student gathering, and a police force academy.  (Don’t ask me about  the logic of it, when you are an invited speaker you often just go where your hosts have asked you to speak!).  The topic was about the absent male figure in societies and families today.  I spoke especially about it’s affect on the North American scene but I realized I was touching a nerve when I was informed that 60-70% of El Salvadoran children grow up with out a father.  He is either deserted, dead, or departed to the US economy to work and send money home.    This woman and I agreed that this was a very real issue in her country, even still if not moreso today.

We talked about some day it would be different.  I shared with her my hope and my faith that yes, some day it would be different.  We exchanged names as we departed.  Her name was “Milagro”.   For those that don’t speak Spanish, it’s the word which translated into English is “miracle”.

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