Volume 11 #1
Six-year-old Esteban, was born without eyes. He is totally and completely blind. He was yelling at the top of his lungs on a late summer day.
Laurie, a dear friend of the ministry took Esteban and his extended family to a local water park. She rounded up a whole bundle of kids and piled them into her minivan. My guess is that not a one of them knew how to swim, but still they had the time of their lives – cruising down the slides, floating down the rivers and conquering the wave pool. It was this thundering “pseudo-ocean” where Esteban made his somewhat prophetic statement, of ‘dame otro’. What Esteban lacks in vision he clearly overcompensates with courage and heart. He’s audacious and (often at the cost of my panic) absolutely fearless. He’s just a short little guy but he waded out into the wave pool as far as he could and waited for the next onslaught. Sure enough a towering wave came and, with ease, knocked Esteben’s feet out from under him and sent him into a tailspin under water.
But within moments he regained his footing, shook the water out of his thick black hair, threw his arms into the air and delightfully screamed in Spanish, “DAME OTRO! DAME OTRO!”
We laughed until we nearly cried as Laurie described this scene to us. “Dame otro” mean “Give me another one!!” With every wave that knocked him in to the water he would get back up and defy it by demanding that another one come his way. He never did keep his footing…but his spirit never missed a beat. Esteban is unstoppable. Just imagining him commanding the waters lifted my spirit throughout the entire day. But later that night I began to think that Esteban’s simple words were perhaps more bold than I had originally realized. As a matter of fact, I began to wonder what my life would look like if I chose to live with the same acceptance, abandon and joy.
Life is good because our Creator is Good. It’s neither easy nor pain free but how can we curse our existence when it was flawlessly molded by the hand of God? How often I forget this. There is so much to learn from Esteban. When I get knocked down by another wave of sickness or a storm of disappointments I am learning to ask my God to raise my spirit back up and for the strength to say, “Dame otro!” Give me another one!! Not so much that I’m asking for pain, but more that I am requesting for the grace to bear it. “Dame otro” is not just about enduring, it’s about opening your eyes in a new way. Looking at life from the shores of heaven verses the well-trodden roads of earth. Learning to live life as an adventure rather than a tedious set of activities and requirements. Come good, come bad…like is a gift.
Dame otro is a reminder that life is not all pain, it is fortified with amazing amounts of love and hope. Quite frankly, in a world so laced with sin, the miracle is that there is any compassion and kindness coming from the hearts of humankind. But there is. This “dame otro” is a roaring statement, attesting to the truth that there is a God, He does see and He is good.
Dame otro, at its heart, is living out the truth that we are not alone. It is a commitment to courage and devotion to a decision that the “I am” still is. No matter what comes…I am not alone. I am constantly in the presence of my God.
* all names and identifying details have been changed to protect anonymity. © Amy Beth Barlow