Thursday, November 7, 2013

Wrong Way

“Wrong way!  That’s the wrong way.” a voice called out to me last Saturday as I made my way through the train station in San Rafael on my way to the city.  Hearing English in a diverse place like Mexico City isn’t all that uncommon (I’ve been “interviewed” at least three times at random by someone doing a school English project) but in San Rafael, still a good ways from the city center, hearing fluent English is a bit of a rarity.  “That’s the wrong way,” he said again, “you have to go over there.”  I looked ahead and realized that I was headed for the ‘exit’ turn-styles rather than the ‘enter’ ones.

“Thanks,” I said, “you speak English.” 

“Yes, I lived in Los Angeles for seven years,” came the reply.

“Where are you going today?” I asked.

“To D.F. (Mexico City).  I’m meeting a friend.  He has some money and we’re going to the U.S.  On the ‘Bestia.’”

Surprise turned into shock.  Not only was someone was openly telling me their plans to enter the United States illegally, but on the Bestia too – a freight train that runs the whole length of Mexico south to north.  Many people are often killed trying to board or experience terrible violence along the way.

As we continued our journey on the train, he told me about his life.  “I’m from Guatemala, not Mexico.  I have family both there and in the U.S.  A daughter who is 14-years-old.”

We continued on, talking about everyday things like music, sports, life.  At one point I lost track of which station we had just been through.  “This one is Fortuna – the next one is where we get off.”  He hadn’t forgotten for an instant.  We transferred to the Metro once we reached the last station.  At the stop where I had to get off, we said goodbye.  I had known the man for maybe half an hour but he will always be a friend to me.

As this weekend comes to a close, I think it is important to realize that God always sends us the right guidance when we are going the wrong way.  All we have to do is see it. 

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