I found Grace in Mexico circa 2003 (pt. 2)

Story of Grace continued from previous post

I have never killed an animal before, but if every animal was killed the way Chon killed this cow, then I would be willing to bet PETA would have a different argument for animal eating.  

The next several minutes were a blur as I watched Chon begin the quartering process. After a while, Chon handed me a knife and showed me how to removed the skin of the cow and even gave a smile when I messed up.  

Before this experience the closest I had gotten to slaughtering an animal was when Han Solo kills a Tauntaun for warmth. So with all my vast knowledge of dead animals you can see why I had reason to be concerned about contracting Mad Cow, Salmonella, Herpes. Which explained why I moved so  

After some time, we quartered the animal and then loaded each quarter into milk crates then loaded the crates into the back of the truck. Through a series of taps and points Chon communicated that I would ride - with the cow. I was there to ensure nothing spilled or fell out of the truck.

I rode all the way back into the village with a cows head staring right at me. 

In the village Chon took the morning's work into his shop where he cleaned and then continued to prepare for the afternoon sale.  Watching his cleaver and knives move so effortlessly was hypnotic and again Chon invited me to join him.

At one point Chon removed the tenderloin and wrapped it in three banana leaves. Chon took the tenderloin to the main square where he was the day's chef.  

Once it was all prepared, Chon gave me a plate and a cerveza. Having lived to the age of twenty years old meant that I officially never had a drink of beer before. Having lived through my college freshman year meant that officially never had a drink of this type of beer before. (I do not endorse under-aged drinking)

Our guide must have sensed my mixed feelings of taboo and delight when he told me that if I did not drink the gift from Chon it would be a great insult. So with a smile, a nod, a clink of two bottles, Chon and I shouted, "Salud!" 

He and I sat next to each other. I drank the gift. We ate from our work. We could not communicate to each other but we understood one another.

I don’t know if it was in the piea when we first arrived. I don’t know if it was in the coka or the beans and cheese or the shower water always prepared.  Perhaps it was the fact that my room was half of their home or the breakfast prepared each day for me. Maybe it was the tenderloin, the sharing of his craft, or the cerveza. I don't know, But somewhere along the way on this trip I experienced offerings that showed me what Grace is like.

My faith grew.

My faith in the interconnectedness of all humanity. My faith in the goodness that resides in each of us. My faith in a God that does not abandon us in the rushing mobs the busy streets. My faith in the power of the shared meal. My faith in the assurance that generosity is the law of the land. My faith in the conviction that love transcends language.