I have quite a large number of suitors in Honduras. Yep, it’s true. Many of the men are so overwhelmed by my beauty that they can’t help but blow me kisses as I pass. The really committed ones shout out “I love you, baby!” In English. Those ones get bonus points. It’s hard being this irresistible.
What’s that you say? This happens to all women in Honduras? I’m NOT that special? Dang. I knew it was hard to believe that I could suddenly become so popular. How could I have forgotten that this seems to be a cultural norm? Oh, hey! There’s a woman! I must pause from my conversation for just a moment to stare at her as she walks past, make a loud and obnoxious kissing noise and if she’s white, impress her with my expansive English vocabulary.
I am comfortable giving these cads my most withering glare. By and large I’m a confident and independent lass who can let these comments and kisses roll off my back. But what if I had been sexually abused? What if over the course of many years I had developed an idea that I exist simply to pleasure a man, any man really, since I also don’t have the power or right to make my own decisions. Those kisses thrown my way would be affirmation that I am just a body and that body is merely something sexual. This is what I suspect the girls I spent a week with feel.
Which is why I love this picture.
How can I describe him? He disliked the highs and lows portions of our team meetings because he doesn’t want to put things into categories. Instead he would share his ‘interesting moments’ of the day. Those moments were ALWAYS deep and profound. Each evening, I looked forward to his time to share because I knew that what came out of his mouth was going to be thoughtful. He’s intentional with what he does. He wants to do things right and well. And by ‘right’ I don’t mean he follows the letter of the law. Clearly. Otherwise he would have put things into categories as I had asked him to. But the reason I do highs and lows is to get people talking in the hopes that we’ll arrive at some interesting moments. (You followed the ‘rules’ more than you knew, Micah!) He was a huge blessing to our team.
And he was a huge blessing to the girls.
Sometimes he kicked a ball around. Sometimes he sat on ‘his bench’.
But my favorite moments were when I spotted him with a little huddle of girls around him. I went and checked it out once and saw that they were all drawing pictures for each other. Pretty sure Micah drew a picture of a car for one of the girls. Because girls love cars. But it was when I saw this picture on Facebook last week that I finally realized why I so appreciated his presence with the girls.
Here, let me show you the picture again.
He did not heal their wounds by drawing pictures of cars. But do you know what he did do?
He respected them.
He showed each girl that it was possible for a man to spend time with her without making her an object. Without looking her up and down or making sexual comments or making that obnoxious kissing noise. Maya Angelou said “I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” I suspect that many of the girls can’t even put their finger on why they enjoyed hanging out with Micah. But one day when another person invests in their lives and and defines for them what it means to be respected, that they are worthy of it and that they should demand it, they can look back to that one week in July when from 9-12 every morning some gringo modeled for them how they SHOULD be treated. Thank you, Micah, for modeling what a real man looks like.