Monday, April 18, 2011
Born in February 1910, Don Jesus recently completed 101 years of life. When I told him he looked 80, it wasn’t just flattery. His smile radiates a peace that must be difficult to sustain after all that he has seen and experienced, but his smile comes so easily and doesn’t carry the least bit of evidence of the hardships he has surely endured. What is your secret? We all wanted to ask. I studied him during our week in La Paz. He reads his Bible every morning and he is sometimes seen supervising workers, writing letters, or singing as he relaxes in a hammock. When he fell slowly and hit his elbow to save his head, I was fascinated to see how his worn skin had just ripped and peeled away, leaving an open wound that he promised wasn’t all that bad. His skin was thin, like the paper in an old Bible. It was convenient that he made the fall on precisely the same day that a team of medical professionals arrived at his home. They used their first aid skills, which we would later teach to a roomful of eager participates, to clean and cover his delicate wound.