I just got back from La Chureca, the Managua city dump. It´s too recent and powerful an experience for me to be coherent about, but here´s what I´ll say. I would not like anyone I love to ever live there. And, Jesus calls me to love my neighbor as myself.
My impulse is to run back to my preschoolers who exhaust me and make me want to pull my hair out, and smother them with hugs and kisses and promise to never let them go back there. And cry. And give them candy and vegetables and clean water and love. And care way more about loving them than getting them to make a straight line by the door, and way more about keeping them in the dusty air that now seems so clean and the dusty ground that now seems so safe than about making them all sit down while we play duck duck goose.
Jesus, bring us liberation.
Christ, shower us with peace.
Spirit, send us justice.
God, save us.
There´s one more thing I can say. When we got off the top of the dump, it was such a relief to be in the lovely depressingly-poor Not Burning Smoky dump neighborhood down below. And I compare that to the poor folks in my neighborhood, and I compare that to my relatively wealthy host family in Nicaragua, and I compare that to my rundown house in Oberlin, and I compare that to any house I grew up in, and these are in order of least to most wealthy-- and I don´t understand.
Holy Spirit, hope to the hopeless.
Holy One, love to the unloved.