By Angelie Ryah from Progreso Honduras
oday was a day of meeting new friends. It was a day of hearing history and poetry and reality. It was a day of stories. First the story of a radio station where multiple voices speak truth and challenge, sorrow and hope. Voices of the past like Bertha Caceres and voices of the present like Padre Melo.
Stories bring people close. They turn strangers into friends by describing how alike we really are. Though the details differ, we know in our cells the same experiences. We know what it’s like to lie awake night after night worried about a family member. Where are they? Are they safe? When will I see them again –will I ever see them again? We know what it’s like to need help, to be at the end of our own knowledge or money or time or strength or ingenuity. We all know what it’s like to receive help-- that fresh clean gasp of breath into searing lungs as we beak the surface after coming up from far, far, far down in dark waters.
We get a taste of resurrection . We all know what it’s like to give help, to see our own wild hearts leap out of our bodies towards someone else and to follow after it. We know the joy of offering even our small bit to that desperate person who sees it as the storm clouds broken apart by an angel; we know the humility of hearing their gratitude and wanting to do more, wishing we had done something sooner.
Today we heard stories of merciless extortion, job loss, land loss, Covid and hurricanes rendering life impossible, impossible to stay. We heard stories of courage, caravans, compassion, cartels, corruption, and countries. The best and worst of humanity were in these stories. We were brought closer by them.
These stories are sacred, filled with the Divine. Only Love is strong enough to compel a woman to form a nonprofit committed to finding the “disappeared” no matter where that search may lead. Sometimes it ends at a grave. Sometimes it reunites a mother and daughter separated by 2 or 18 or 40 years. Only Divine Compassion can guide a pastor and his flock to arrange safe passage for a family under death threats from cartels.
These stories are threads, and sharing them is weaving a tapestry. Everyone has the colorful fibers to create a beautiful image, if we will step into the loom together. No one’s story is enough on its own; we are invited by Love to pull our threads through our common cords, to wrap and tighten them together, in strong knots here, soft edging there. We each are beckoned, moment by moment, to shape our own stories with others. The Loom awaits.
Honduras, July 2021
Photos by Mark Coplan and Radio Progreso
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