Friday, June 09, 2006


Hello All -

The following is an excerpt from "Spain: The Root and The Flower. An Interpretation of Spain and the Spanish People." It is a book by John Crow that I have found very helpful in my endeavor to understand this country of Spain. This quote appears on page 359:

"The Castellana by moonlight is one of the most beautiful boulevards in the world; by day it is rather gray and cheerless looking. The same thing is true in Toledo, Granada, Seville, Cordoba, Valencia - any town in Spain. When the hour of twilight arrives the cities and towns begin to breathe and live. They become young and beautiful again, and filled with hope; even the voices of those who have slaved all day sound alert and melodious. The indefinable charm of Spain lies in these towns at night. With the softness of air and the sounds of flowing water, they steal the heart completely...Every town of Spain has its sounds, its odors, its architecture, its history, its enchantment, and they are all different."

Night time is the right time to see the people of Spain. In many ways, the feel is similar to what I remember about Market Night back in Redlands, sans the various vender booths. It is the community, living and breathing, enjoying their city and it's culture. We take the same route every time into the Centro Ciudad. Along the way, various fountains and benches line the city streets. The trees hang over the boulevards, providing shade, beauty and even the fine odor of lavendar. As we get closer to town, more people can be seen and heard. We stop by our favorite little Heladeria (Ice Cream Shop) and visit with the owner, who is a Spaniard who has spent time in Chicago and speaks English. After last night, I will be making "Turon" my new flavor of choice! Then we come into the main hub of activity and most of the time, just bask in the power of observance. Family's with strollers like ours, couples young and old, accordions providing the soundtrack. It is really quite alluring...except for the accordions of course! But even then, somehow it is the right context for them.

There are nights when we witness a tremendous sense of joy and excitment. There is a contentment with simplicity that has always attracted me to Europe in general, and now Spain in particular. They speak of this quality in their description of Jerez: "Muy Traquillo," very tranquil, very peaceful.

Sometimes one could be fooled that there is no further need. Look at these people. They are all seemingly happy and joyous. And yet how great the need is for them to know Jesus Christ as more than an icon, more than a picture on a piece of stained glass. I imagine Jesus beckoning to this country, standing on the corners of the streets, calling attention to Himself, saying, "How many times have I wanted to gather you unto me, as a hen to her chicks." I wonder if Jesus weeps over Jerez as He did over Jerusalem, the city who had a form of godliness, but denied the power of God.

For me as a missionary, these sights are not just some novel moments in time. They are pictures of faces and people who need a Savior. There boulevard is broad, but so is the way to destruction, and many are on it.

Blessings To The Friends Of Spain,
Frank Sanchez

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