a handsome charro

My heart smiled as Angel beamed under the large sombrero. For his school’s dance, Angel dressed as a charro, a traditional Mexican horseman. His letter offered happy words and pictures of a smiling charro.

“Many people congratulated me and said I looked handsome and they had many pictures taken with me.” So much joy and confidence in every word.

His picture needed no translation. 

I thanked God for the few hours of normalcy. A few hours at a school dance where brave charros danced with shy senoritas. Did the young charro blush when he offered his hand to the young lady?

Too often poverty erodes normalcy. Boys and girls miss out on carefree, joyful childhoods, even youngsters not confined to wheelchairs.

My husband and I have sponsored Angel for four years and traveled to meet him last year. Angel smiled when he had many reasons to furrow his brow, whine, or complain. He smiled as a flurry of activity occurred around him; as girls and boys ran and kicked soccer balls.

I was proud of Angel, then and now. He faces the world with a smile; he chooses joy.

Years ago when tears washed over my smiles, I selected a verse to guide me out of the darkness.

May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit. ~Romans 15:13 (NIV)

With the start of a new year around the corner, Angel’s smile reminds me to search for joy hidden in the normal, everyday moments of life. He reminds me to cling to the promises of the God of Hope.

Each month throughout 2019, I’ll share how a child has encouraged or challenged me. All have blessed me.

For January 2019,  I choose joy, thanks to a handsome charro.

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