The Mysterious Sign in the Rainforest

Pictures: My monkeys in the pool, and the Howler Monkeys who finally showed up for a visit outside our rental house, and stayed all day. They’ve earned their name Howler, because they howl very loud.

“So teach us to number our days that we may get a heart of wisdom.” Psalms 90:12 ESV

Yesterday, we passed a sign posted on a tree it read, “Get Ready to Meet God.”  It sent a chill down my spine, for Orlando (the same driver I mentioned in the previous post) was barreling down those rainforest roads, scraping by anyone walking or biking on the roadside. I, being a woman who takes notice of the details, took it as a sign to pray. Silently, I prayed for our safety. I can almost hear your giggles, and I know you are thinking it was just a sign, but trust me when I say, some signs are not just signs.

Twenty minutes later, a policeman stopped in front of our vehicle, refusing to let us pass. We’d just missed an accident involving a motorcycle, and they needed time to process the scene.

We stepped out of the van and waited alongside the road with a group of Guatemalan fruit pickers who walked up. I couldn’t help but to compare these teens to my boys. My boys were larger than them and wore ear buds and nice clothes, while they were leathered from the sun, wearing torn clothing, and muddy muck boots. I realized the largest advantage my boys had over them was birth place.

In my previous blog I pointed out, they believe we Americans work to buy things and are enslaved by our materials. Orlando also pointed out there is too much racism in our country. It is what our media spews to the world. I don’t know about you, but I live in a community alongside Indians, Blacks, Whites, Jewish, even Muslims and we get along just fine. It angers me that racists on both sides are allowed to brand the reputation of our country as a whole.

In Belize, many families send their children to work to help buy necessities. Parents can’t afford the luxury of educating their brood. I glanced at my sons, how many times have they complained about school? These fruit pickers would much rather sit in a classroom, than pick fruit in the hot sun all day.

As we waited, Orlando turned back to us. “The motorcycle driver is dead. This truck hit him,” he said. Immediately, I could see him, a poor unfortunate soul, with leathery skin and sliced up palms like these boys. They craned their necks to see if they knew him. I wanted to wrap the whole dirty lot of them in my arms, and apologize for my boys having it easy while their lives were so hard. No-one chooses where they are born, nor the lot they are born into.

Finally, we had permission to pass. The motorcycle was a twisted ball of metal, his helmet was crushed, his body lay lifeless on the side of the road covered by an old bed sheet.


This morning, we awoke to the sound of the water gently lapping the shoreline. We are no longer in the rainforest, but on the coast. The news from that stretch of road has reached us here. News spreads fast in a small country. The motorcyclist was not a local after all, but a nineteen-year old American. He was on a school trip, enjoying his last adventure with a teacher before returning to the US today. He turned off the Zip- Line road and swung too wide, sliding his bike under a truck hauling a Bulldozer. He didn’t have a chance to survive it.

His classmates will return to the US with an understanding they are blessed in more than just their birthright. They’re blessed with time. Their parents will wave outside of security, ready to gather them in their arms. Meanwhile, the deceased boy’s parents will sob as their son’s body is unloaded off the back of the plane. I wonder if they’ll regret sending him to Belize or if they’ll blame themselves for his untimely demise. The truth is it is no one’s fault, it was his time. His time.

             We all have a time set forth by our Creator. Are you going to go through your time complaining about how rough you have it? Or wasting it away on things? Wasting it on hating someone for being different than you are? Or will you spend your time influencing, inspiring, and pointing others to a better Way. So, they will be ready when their time comes to meet their Creator.

That small sign painted on wood hanging on the edge of the rainforest wasn’t just a sign after all. It was a message for you and me. How about it are you ready? If not, “Get ready to meet God.”

Note: As God may have it, we ended up on the same flight with the classmates of the deceased. Several of them sobbed as they boarded the plane. It broke my heart.

July 2017

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