So there’s this statue of a Virgin in the middle of Quito.
(Side note: How exactly do you explain the term “Virgin” to young children? It’s a bit tricky, you know?)
Anyway, the legend goes that she faces the North, so Northern Quito is blessed. Her back is to the South, and you can probably guess the conclusion is to that.
I’ve been thinking about that on and off for the past week or so.
William, the black-and-white son that he is, was swimming with his sister the other week. She jumped in the pool and when she got out, she had a wedgie. So he told her that her buns were showing. She translated that to mean that her swimming suit was immodest. And now? Well, she won’t even touch the thing. Never mind that it came from Land’s End– the epitome of modesty.
Words. True or not, they shape who were are. They ring in our ears until we convince ourselves that they are truth.
When I was 16 and in Driver’s Ed, I had a teacher who wasn’t very encouraging and slowly his words of criticism leaked into my thoughts about the kind of driver I was. Still, to this day, I hate driving. I have a hard time believing that I am a good driver, in spite of the fact that I’ve never had a warning, a ticket, or a wreck. A few years ago when Peter looked at me and told me I was a good driver, I was shocked. The thought truly had never occurred to me. Isn’t it ridiculous that I believed someone who only spoke criticism into my life for a few weeks?
All it takes is for me to hear one criticism, one misspoken word, and the voices in my head start going. Before I know it, I’m in an all-out battle for the truth. Suddenly I realize that Kate and I fight the same battle. The only difference is that she speaks her Trash out loud and I keep mine on the inside where no one can hear.
If I can only seize her words and teach her to change them into Truths before she figures out how to internalize her words, well, we’ll have overcome a humongous hurdle in her life. Same goes for me, huh?
The day the bus took us to the tippy top of Quito, Ecuador to see the massive Virgin, I stopped and I stared at it. You know, it’s nice. But it’s just a statue. To think that a superstitious belief about who would be blessed and who would not be has actually played out to be true . . . doesn’t that seem preposterous? Today there are people pouring their hearts and soul into restoring the City, determined to win the battle in overcoming the words spoken about it.
What would happen if we actually stopped believing the lies and the trash that we have been told by ourselves, by others, by Satan? What if we slowly allowed the Truth to leak into those cracks in our hardened hearts?
and my prayer for mercy.