In Nicaragua, we have a saying for everything. Some are funny, others are harsh, and still others are a little hard to interpret, such as the one that says, “The lone ox licks itself well.”
The ox is a very common beast of burden in Central America and is also a symbol of hard work, nobility and strength. But another particularity of this animal is that it waits until it is alone to clean itself. Only when it is calm and solitary, in the afternoon or evening, does the ox turn to its tongue to knead its skin and lick any wounds it may have suffered while carrying out its work.
That is why the saying, “The lone ox licks itself well” means that it is preferable to be alone and, on one’s own, try to overcome shame or sorrow, to then be able to complete one’s work.
“But these types of proverbs
can keep us tethered,” explained Carlos Mejía, during the graduation ceremony of Youth Agents of Transformation that took place on October 5th. “I grew up hearing these proverbs and I became accustomed to doing things alone, but also to letting others resolve their problems on their own,” shared Carlos, a construction worker from the city of León and a member of the Filadelfia church.
Carlos Mejía, along with 20 other teachers and youth leaders in the city of León, participated in the series of workshops entitled “Mission Transformation,” which focuses on equipping the local church to serve youth (and their families) from difficult home situations.
“These courses helped the scales to fall from our eyes,” added Carlos, “Because they taught us that we are relational and that we are to practice love and mercy for our neighbor.”
Leader and Bible teacher Abigail Picado shared a new proverb that she has incorporated into her collection of faith proverbs, “I really liked the saying that we learned in Street Psalms course that said: ‘Grace is like water, it flows downhill and pools up in the lowest places.’ Through this saying I have come to understand my community better,” she expressed. “I learned that above all, one must have love for others in one’s community. And that we should relate to them, help them and recognize the value they have with God.”
We extend congratulations to the new generation of Youth Agents of Transformation and their facilitators Trinidad Juárez of the Filadelfia church and Denis Cienfuegos of Belén church. Both churches have been joining in the dance of the Holy Spirit in their communities and learning how to work hand-in-hand with their neighbors for the good of their own communities.