Wednesday, October 3, 2007


A woman named Charity comes to clean my house two days a week. She does laundry and irons everything impeccably (rids the clothes of larvae AND makes me look good). Her husband is currently unemployed, so her wage supports the entire family (five children between the ages of 8 and 15). She and I were having coffee and toast together yesterday morning and she shared some of her life story with me. Her parents died when she was small, so she and her sisters were farmed out to various family members who were less than eager for more mouths to feed. Both of her sisters are now widows and likely have AIDS. We both sat quietly, choked up. I told her, “None of this makes sense Charity.”

And none of it does.

I have already met dozens of people with stories much like hers. Hungry bellies, disease, poor health care, and rampant unemployment pervade local life. I asked her if she thought that God was present in the midst of all of this. And she said, “O yes Carmen. I cannot imagine what I would do without God. It is only because of God…” Her voice trailed off and she was lost in her own thoughts, a smile faint on her lips. I am constantly awed by the faith of those I meet.

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