Though warned not to walk outside the black iron gates, we did it anyway…we are contrarians. Beyond the black iron gates and through the gauntlet of peddlers of tourist services and a half block west on Fort Street, we finally broke free. Free from the manufactured “Belize experience” inside the black iron gates, free from the taxi drivers, horse carriage drivers, snorkeling guides, ganja salesman and now free to explore the real Belize City.
And then this guy jumped off the sidewalk and began to walk with us.
It was hard to tell what his colorful costume was…I first thought maybe something Garifuna, then maybe a Mayan warrior, or Kukulkan, the Plumed Serpent. I’m not really sure, it didn’t occur to me to ask during our conversation. The conversation began like this:
“Hey mon, I see that you are walking and sweating out what you done last night!”
Apparently he is familiar with what is normal on a cruise ship. Not missing a beat, I replied:
“I was in my room at 8 o’clock reading my Bible and praying.”
That was a lie, it was closer to 9:30pm. And then he said:
“Oh mon! I love me some Bible!”
And then with pinion and tail feathers flying, he sidled/sashayed, (definition 1.a. and/or 3) beside me. Reaching up, he draped his arm across my shoulders and said:
“Blessed is the man that does not walk in the counsel of the wicked or stand in the way of sinners or sit in the seat of mockers. But his delight is in the law of the LORD, and on his law he meditates day and night.
He is like a tree planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in season and whose leaf does not wither, whatever he does prospers.
Not so the wicked! They are like chaff that the wind blows away. Therefore the wicked will not stand in the judgment nor sinners in the assembly of the righteous.
For the LORD watches over the way of the righteous, but the way of the wicked will perish.”
Yes, that is Psalm 1 that he quoted, followed by:
“Don’t you forget it, mon! And please pray for me, that I will have courage. My name is Gary.”
This marks the second sermon I’ve received on the streets of Belize City, and once again, God reaches out to the “normal” in his most ordinary way with an ordinary preacher by God’s strange standard.