Wednesday, September 2, 2009
It’s amazing how awesome a small, plastic green, stretchy man can make you feel! Last year I knew it must feel cool to be awarded the nightly Gumby Award, but this year, tonight, I got to experience it for myself and I must say, it’s pretty darn cool.
Gumby belongs to Nathan, one of the host missionaries in Nicaragua, and he is awarded nightly to someone who has demonstrated flexibility, teamwork, etc…throughout the day. The coolest part is that it’s awarded peer to peer, teammate to teammate. Last year during some selfish moments I contemplated “what can I do to win Gumby? Gather people’s dinner plates? Offer my beef jerky to those who only brought granola bars and were sick of them?” But then I realized “this is dumb. I don’t want to win it because I’m trying to win it. That’s lame and besides, he’s just a little toy.”
Tonight, after testimonies, Rachel (my partner for the day in glasses) began her Gumby awarding speech and I was looked around the room to see who I thought might have been the flexible one of the day. So many people popped in my head, but as she started talking, based on her words, I slowly realized that she was talking about me. “Whoa, I’m totally getting Gumby” I thought! Rachel’s words were awesome and kind, and she thanked me for allowing her to leave me solo in glasses (remember my fear of being in glasses in the first place, yikes) so that she could go on a couple house visits to patients who weren’t well enough to attend the clinic. She also thanked me for my willingness to try new things like glasses, utilizing my Spanish, etc… I didn’t even realize anyone was watching and yet someone was. Maybe I was flexible, but it was the Lord who was working through me and nothing I did on my own. Very cool feeling.
After graciously accepting the award and giving her a hug for making me feel 110% special, I sat down and already began considering my Gumby candidate for tomorrow. I’d have 24 hours to re-award him and I had 16 amazing people to consider. The mere fact that every single person here put their life on hold, work on hold, burned a week of vacation days, left behind their kids and spouses, left behind being able to brush their teeth with tap water, and some left behind “heavy” personal things that will be awaiting them when they return, I’d have to say that EVERY SINGLE PERSON ON THIS TRIP is flexible.
Narrow it down I will, but it’s not going to be easy. Until then Gumby is proudly sitting on the night stand next to my bed and making me smile graciously. And I secretly can't wait to take him with me to clinic tomorrow for his glasses fitting:)