LOL: (n.) lots of love
Today was a free day, perfectly timed to allow us some rest after a long day at the Temezcal yesterday.
I started out the morning with a delicious breakfast at a local breakfast joint here in Querétaro called Nico’s. I had a casserole type soupy dish made with eggs, beef, and a spicy sauce. We went with another nursing student from the Universidad Autónomo de Querétaro, Valeria, who had previously spent a semester at Hope. She and her family picked Mary, Mark, and I up and we spent the morning talking about travel, nursing, and getting to know each other better over some delicious, traditional Mexican breakfast dishes.
After breakfast, they dropped us off back at home and we did a little relaxing. We sat around the table and chatted, and I was able to catch up on some journaling and read some of my Bible before venturing out on the town. When we all felt rested and ready for some walking, we headed out in the direction of El Centro.
We continued past El Centro and headed to a local market, where we encountered birds, clothes, food, and anything you could imagine. The market was about as far as you could imagine from a traditional farmer’s market in Michigan, but it was bustling with people, young and old. Upon entering, we walked past numerous cages full of birds of all types, ready to be adopted.
After the birds, we ventured through racks and racks of clothes, shoes, and little trinkets. Moving onto the food, we walked past shop after shop full of various meats, rice, vegetables, and fruits, which looked so delicious. My favorite part may have been at the end, as we walked past several boxes full of mini cacti.
As we headed back to El Centro, we stopped in a few dainty shops full of wooden ladles, intricately woven bags, hand painted ceramics, and wonderfully scented lotions. One thing I’ve found interesting and quite disheartening here in Querétaro is the number of children that are out begging for their older siblings or parents.
This young boy stole my heart as he held out his hand and gave mark a “fist bump” after receiving a few pesos from Mark. A few verses from Colossians have made themselves apparent over the past few days, and one of these, in particular, comes to mind as I think of this situation.
“Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience. Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. And over all these virtues put on love which binds them all together in perfect unity.” -Colossians 3:12-14
God does not call us to judge others or pick and choose who to love, but to be gentle and patient with all people, no matter your differences. Mark did not hold a grudge against these young boys begging for spare change, but instead put on love to unite under God’s love for us.
Soon after this encounter, the skies opened up and it started to rain as we were making our way back home. It did not let up, and in fact began to rain harder and harder. We decided to take shelter and grab some dinner in Hank’s New Orleans Oyster Bar. There was some nice Frank Sinatra playing overhead, but this was soon overpowered by a four-man Mariachi band singing just across the patio.
The rain let up just as we finished eating, and we quickly made a break for it to get home before the storms started again. It has been raining quite a bit over the past few days, and this is starting to become quite apparent:
Today was a nice day to rest and relax after a long final week at the hospital, and to prepare for the last few days here in Querétaro. To further expand on the passage I mentioned above in Colossians, I found this wooden decor hanging in the kitchen here at Mary and Mark’s, so I will leave you with this:
“Look at the past with understanding…
The future with faith…
and the present with LOVE.”