When I arrived in Ecuador in the middle of December, I stayed in Quito for a day to do some errands and visit some people. So, my first day, I got on the metrobus, and since there were no seats, I stood on the side in a little niche. As soon as the train started to move, one of the many vendors who board the buses and trains started making an announcement. Then, she started playing music out of her little radio, and it was Christian music. So, the train was filled with this Christian music, and as I looked around, I noticed a man sitting down across from me, and he was singing the words to the song. I was singing a little bit, too, and I was wondering if the whole train might break out into song.
That didn’t happen, but the woman started walking around the train to sell her CDs. I noticed the man who had been singing reach into his bag and pull out some change, but it was clear he didn’t have much. When the vendor came to me, I asked, How much? One dollar. So I gave her two and said, “One for me and one for him, please.” After he got his CD, the guy was so surprised, he got up and offered me his seat. I told him I sat enough in the past few days, but thanks. He said to me, “You have a good heart – don’t lose it.”
So we began talking, about his family, about me, where we’re from, what we’re doing, about faith. He is a street clown. Here in cities, at stoplights very often a person comes out at a red light and starts juggling or doing some amazing acrobatics to get a tip. That’s a street clown. He says he likes to lift up the kids with something fun when they come, and the CD will be something positive, too. He said to me, “The world is dark and needs more light.” I said to him, “But when you lift up the kids and the people on the street, that’s the light. You are a light. Keep shining.” And he looked at me a bit downcast and said, “But I’m a street clown, God doesn’t like street clowns.” I told him no, God is closest to the people on the street. You show people God.
Quietly, his countenance changed, and he smiled. He told me about his family’s little home near the beach on the coast, and gave me his number. “Whenever you go the coast, call me and you’re invited to come over to the beach.” As his stop approached, he said again, “You have a good heart. Don’t lose it.” He got off the train , and I saw a lift in his step. As the train passed, he looked over through the crowd and we waved. He’s off to go and lift others up.
The goodness in our hearts is the most powerful thing that we have. It has the power to lift people up. There are a lot of other good things in life, but whatever else you might gain in life, there is no better treasure.
Don’t lose it!
“Fear not, little flock, for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom. Sell your possessions, and give alms; provide yourselves with purses that do not grow old, with a treasure in the heavens that does not fail, where no thief approaches and no moth destroys. For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.” (Lk 12:32-34)