Missed

Jason Bruner
Feb 3 · 1 min read

I spent the summer of 2004 trying to convert people in Matamoros, Mexico. We would often go to the plaza in the center of the city, where waiting and loitering and begging and playing checkers would be shaded by trees with painted white trunks and the cathedral’s bell towers. It rained one afternoon and a couple dozen of us –American evangelicals and Latinos — crammed together under a small gazebo. A lanky man, maybe in his 50s, turned to me. “They said it wasn’t supposed to rain today,” and shrugged with a smile. He asked what we were doing there. I told him we were here to tell people about Jesus. He responded by talking about religion as he saw it, and I realized he was giving a gentle lecture about what people like me couldn’t see when we walked around Matamoros. His accent sounded refined and precise, almost European, though his clothes were threadbare. I asked him where he was from and he held his breath, and his eyes became moist. He could only choke out, “Somewhere else. Far away.” I still think about his eyes, not their sadness so much as how they looked at me and turned away at the same time.

Jason Bruner

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