5 Minutes of My Day: Junior’s Hands
Eric, Josue and I are riding in the car, scouring the streets of Carrefour for guitar strings. We finally spot a store and as I’m pulling over, a car washer boy taps on the glass. I motion for him to follow us out of the traffic and I park on the side of the road. Another washer boy, maybe 2 years younger hits him upside the head for taking his next customer. Our car is absolutely filthy, it needs a good wash instead of a dusting, but oh well. Better than nothing right? Eric hops out and I keep the car running.
We exchange nods and he gets to work. His arms are strong and his eyes are deep. His old kitchen towel is full of holes and dust from a long days work. He folds his rag like an artist, as he prepares to wash the car; a Haitian man buys oranges from a vendor, they fall on the ground. He moves to the side of the car, dusting away; three school girls giggle as they hop into a Taptap (a taxi) after a day of exams. He beats the back glass with his rag; a father picks up his sleepy baby boy into his arms, he’s out by the time his head hits his shoulder. He moves to my window; a woman walks by with a drink cooler balanced on her head, chatting away with the other women walking with her. He meets my gaze and says, “M’fini.” I’m done.
I roll down the window across from me, to get him out of traffic. “Ki laj ou?” How old are you? I ask him. 10 years old, he says. “Kijan ou rele?” What is your name? I say again. Junior, he replies. “Ou pa gen lekol jodia?” You don’t have school today? No, he has to work, he says. As I fumble with the coins in the cup-holder, he reaches his hand in the window. His hands are so small. I notice the lines, the cuts and scabs from hard work. His fingers are short and stubby, fingernails dirty and broken. But as I place a fist-full of goudes into his palm and close his small hand in mine, I can feel the roughness of his skin. He must have been in this business a while.
“Mesi pou travay po’m. Bondye beniou.” Thank you for working for me, God bless you.
He spits out a quick Mesi and runs away to his next car. Never to see him again.
Eric gets in the car, talking about the guitar strings he just found. But all I can see and think about are those hands.
Father please be with Junior tonight, wherever he may lay his head. These storms are so loud, the lightning is so bright and the rain is pouring. Give him rest, bless his life. Take him in your arms, let him know You are with him. -Amen
5 Minutes of My Day is a series of the more intimate moments in our ministry. Launching off of something Eric said to me one day: “When you are overwhelmed or stressed and Satan is on you, focus on the little things. The small moments that make you remember why you live this life. Why you love this ministry.” So here it is. Snapshots of 5 minutes of my day.