I Wish I Could Be Better
On my balcony, looking out at the glassy open sea, I closed my eyes.
I made a wish.
Most of my wishes have something to do with a million dollars, perfect skin, or Nick Jonas.
This one was different.
I wished for the Jamaicans. I wished for the basket-weaver who was screaming at my mom. I wished for the security guard with his two daughters. I wished for the manager of Margarita Ville who I figured could use some Jesus. I wished for the bus driver who told us he was trying to be a good person. I wished for the women who begged me to buy their jewelry so they could have money for food.
I wished things were different for them. I wished they weren’t so impoverished. I wished they could have a safe home, good food, and nice clothes.
Most of all, I wished I could hug them. I wished I could tell them I cared. I wished I could tell them that Jesus loves them. I wished I could help them somehow.
But I didn’t.
I smiled. I bought tanzanite rings. I complained of the heat. I refused water offered to me. I did nothing. I am a tourist. A shopper. I am part of a crowd -- a herd -- of cheap people with money. That is all. Am I just money to them? Am I just a ticket to get through the day? Is that all I am?
Then I realized I wasn’t wishing just for the Jamaicans.
I was wishing for myself.
I wish I could be different. Stronger. Better. I wish I had lent a hand in some way, no matter how small. I wish I had loved them enough, cared for them enough, to tell them that Jesus loved them.
But I didn’t.