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The petite child smiled at me from the center of the video frame. Alicia stood barefoot bedecked in a flowered skirt and a pink shirt splattered with small white hearts. In her hands she clasped flaming red hibiscus flowers she extended toward the camera. Little sister, Mayli, from behind wrapped her small arms around Alicia’s waist, gave a hug, then trotted off. The child’s sweet voice called, “Where are you, Hermana Katy? Thank you for our house. We are peaceful. I am content. I send you greetings. Thank-you.”
I find myself with the rest of the world in an unsettled inner and outer place in light of the coronavirus pandemic. It seems life has changed overnight. We are confined in our homes where food and basic supplies (like toilet paper) that once overflowed shelves in grocery stores, are now empty. Church services are suspended, and restaurants and coffee shops are closed. Isolation has been normalized and we are being asked to live with less in many respects. This can be hard.
I was perusing through some stories I had written years ago about my life in Guatemala. I came across this one I called Full Bowl. It speaks to me now in a way I hadn’t experienced before. I want to share it with you.
On the 10th of every month approximately thirty women, some with babies at their breasts and toddlers trotting behind their skirts, swell into the mission house. The women are Maya jewelers and weavers who make up our microbusiness - Ixcán Creations. They come to pray.
The women understand while sitting at the loom weaving multi-colored scarves, shawls, and table runners, and laboring with beads, seeds, stones, and wire creating earrings and necklaces; that prayer is an integral and important part of their work.