The markets in Antigua are a brilliant jumble of vibrant color and incredible creativity.
I stopped to talk with 78 year old, abuela (grandmother) and watched her work. She has been weaving tapestries for 8 years now. It takes her about 6 days of working 7-8 hours per day to produce what we we call a table runner 18 inches wide and maybe 8 feet long. And then she asks 350Q. That’s $45.32 in US dollars. I hesitated for a moment admiring the work of the fabric in my hand and she quickly dropped her price to 300q, which is less than the dollar per hour she originally asked.
Her grandson stood nearby in the booth the family leases.
Less than a dollar an hour for her creativity and her labor…
I thanked her and gave her the 350Q she asked for originally plus another 5Q for welcoming me to photograph her.
I stayed for a few more minutes to watch her weathered hands move quickly and skillfully; creative hands made in the image of our Creator.
I thought of one of my favorite verses in the old manuscripts I read to shape my life and focus my thoughts.
I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well. Psalm 139:14
Abuela is wonderfully made in the image of God. I am too and so are you.
Wealth, position and status have absolutely no impact on our worth in the eyes of our Creator.
My sister weaving in the market is dearly loved by my God. My shoeless, 9 year old friend, Johan, in Yalu is dearly loved by God. My sweet girls in Oratorio are valuable to God.
How I wish more of us could see each other through the eyes of Jesus and understand that our worth is not tied to our wealth. In fact, once again, I’m leaving convinced that my wealth is often a barrier to my understanding of true worth.
Today I will return to our friends in Oratorio at the school our church family supports to celebrate the teachers and staff, have a pool party at a nearby hotel and have a banquet if thanksgiving. It will feel like a little piece of heaven for me.
Wealth has nothing to do with worth.