Today I saw this picture, and it brought tears to my eyes.
Yesterday was a great day in our sister church community. The congregation gathered to celebrate the baptism of Luisito, Vanesa's baby brother. Luisito is a miracle baby. He was born more than a month too soon, and was so very little. At two months old, he was still smaller than most newborns, and he seemed not to respond to much. But yesterday, at almost age 1 and thriving, he was baptized, and this photo was taken at the party.
Luisito's story is enough to bring tears, but it was the sight of happy kids with that piñata that got to me. There is another photo from yesterday which tells the story of the piñata - a photo of my friend Julia who recently started a new business making piñatas. In that photo, Julia stands amidst her creations, smiling with a big, huge, happy smile.
This is the smile I remember from before the murder.
More than a year ago, Julia's son was murdered. Dragged out of his home in the hours before dawn and shot in the street, he was a victim of gang violence and mistaken identity.
Today's tears are not grieving tears. Today's tears are tears of thanksgiving that life survives death, that smiles are not gone forever, that God is good. It is good to see a street resurrected by children's laughter. It is good to see my friend Julia's smile resurrected in the work of her piñatas. It is good to see joy in the neighborhood.
Thanks to Tim, of Tim's El Salvador Blog, for sharing these photos with me.