Saturday, April 25, 2015


Recently, during our nightly devotion, God revealed to us that we were suffering with a chronic but curable condition I named “farsightedness.”  I cannot recall the topic of our devotion that night, but I do remember what was revealed to us.  While living in the states, Ellie and I went about our daily grind like most anyone else would, except we had lost our ability to use our full field of view.

Webster defines farsighted as, “able to see things that are far away more clearly than things that are near.”  Now, before proceeding any further, our physical eyesight has not been compromised lately, but we are referring to our spiritual eyesight and the sight of our hearts. While in Georgia, we ran to Walmart, doctor’s offices, gas stations, and rushed to be on time for work and other important appointments, meanwhile not really paying attention to who may be around us. It is easy to get focused on the task at hand in our busy lives and block out all the “non-essential" things around us in order to accomplish our to-do list for the day.  By living this way, we have closed ourselves off from opportunities for God to use us and we have closed other people off from opportunities to know our Lord and Savior.

Something that has helped us to better understand this truth is moving to Guatemala. Here, we have learned that this culture is more of a relational-based culture versus a task or money-driven culture. In Guatemala, it is very common to have deadlines that are not met, but on the other hand, walking down almost any street and having almost everyone greet you is just as common. This stresses the fact that people here, generally speaking, are more important than what may be on the calendar. If people are this important, then how could we continue to go throughout our days not really caring about or acknowledging those around us?

Looking back, I am saddened at the number of people whom I remember passing on a regular basis and  I could not even stop to learn their name. After learning of this truth and slowing down while running about, it is incredible to see the possibilities to share who God is with others. We write this not to condemn or judge, but to share truth from our lives and what we have learned while being here. We realize that there is a difference between the two cultures and that the streets can not become a big social club seven days week. But being deliberate to make time for a conversation or asking God for the courage to start a conversation with someone new is a start.  We are not trying to make everyone street evangelists, but taking the time to meet and learn the story of the Walmart greeter or post office clerk who you see every week is a good start.  First their name, then maybe their kids’ names, then maybe how you can pray for them.  We are not pros, but have learned that relationships with others in life are far more important than the things we were placing first.

Romans 13:8-10

   Owe nothing to anyone except to love one another; for he who loves his neighbor has fulfilled the law. For this, “You shall not commit adultery, You shall not murder, You shall not steal, You shall not covet,” and if there is any other commandment, it is summed up in this saying, “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.”  Love does no wrong to a neighbor; therefore love is the fulfillment of the law.

JamesandEllie / Author & Editor

James and Ellie Carr have been missionaries in Gautemala since 2014 and write to share their feelings and how they have experienced God's goodness and mercy on the mission field.


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