I didn’t grow up in a city that often faces floods, but I do recall a time, when visiting a neighboring area, I feared for my life as floodwaters rose above my waist. That day I learned an unforgettable lesson about friendship and what a happy heart can do.
In every city exists some type of concern about natural disasters. In Mexico City, we never faced floods that I was aware of. But one rainy day, while I was in junior high and had to visit the library of a neighborhood near my school, I began to walk home and found myself in the middle of an area that was flooding. Cars couldn’t move and people were rushing to get to higher ground.
I ran to the median of the city street and embraced a tree as flash floodwaters reached my knees, and I just didn’t know what to do! I thought about my family and my friends who were also walking home after. Were they all in the middle of this flood, too? How am I going to get home? Is the entire city flooding? I was afraid and cold.
All those questions came to my 13-year-old mind, while the rain kept pouring down and floodwaters continued to rise up to my waist. Suddenly, from the other side of the street (which had become a lake, of sorts), I saw two friendly faces swimming towards me, shouting my name and smiling. Two classmates, Jonathan and Carlos, who lived around that area, were laughing and playing and competing to see who was the fastest swimmer. When they got to me, they joked about how scared I looked and said, “don’t be afraid, Joha. Swim with us!”
I was in shock. I didn’t understand how they could be so happy in the middle of that flood!
Then, a Biblical proverb came to my mind: “A cheerful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones” Proverbs 17:22.
I joined them, and together we swam out of that area. Apparently, those specific streets were known for flooding when it rained hard, but the rest of the neighborhood was fine. Later when I got home, my family had no idea that any flooding had even happened.
That day I learned that even when the water was waist-high and I didn’t know what to do, hope remained. God will always send good people to help us swim out of floodwaters, or may even use us to swim to another person’s rescue.
Recently, we were helping friends who were affected by the recent flooding in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. I remembered how afraid I had been all those years ago, and how two friendly faces turned my dark, scary day into a beautiful lesson. Then, my friend asked me to share my guacamole recipe with him. He knows there’s still lots of work to do, but there’s always time for guacamole! So, I decided to share my recipe with all of you as well.
5-6 medium size avocados (chop them in small pieces)
1 garlic clove
1/4 small onion
1-2 jalapeños, chopped. (unseeded for less spice)
Juice of 2-3 limes
A bunch of cilantro
1-2 small tomatoes, chopped in small pieces - try to take most of the juice out-
Salt to taste
Blend garlic, onion and cilantro, and about a third of your avocados and about half of the lemon juice.
Once very well blended, add the rest of the avocados, add chopped tomatoes, jalapeños and salt. Mix with a spoon. Taste and adjust salt and add lemon juice as needed.
If possible, cover and let it rest in the refrigerator for about 30 minutes before serving.
The key is to blend the garlic and onion first, so they don’t over take the flavor. Then keep a chunky consistency by adding most of the avocado pieces and all the tomatoes after the initial blending.