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If you’re going to wear red, wear it boldly

Travel fills an yearning for the stories we hear and read about, creating lasting photographs within our memories. With Cessna, doors become runways leading me to places I never imagined. I find myself in Madrid. So with Cessna inside me, I roamed the streets of this beautiful city in search of answers to questions I never speak about.

I instantly fell in love with you Madrid, I was comfortable and safe. The people were kind and by my second day there, I had the locals asking me for directions! Every morning, I would go to Plaza Mayor for breakfast and my expresso. I would find a different spot every evening to watch the sunset and listen to the local musicians. The air was filled with romance, and each sunset so spectacular. And my heart went thump each time.

But just like every city, sometimes beauty is hidden behind the shadows of bondage and pain. So I went there. La Latina, where the smiles of women were facades of lost souls. The street of prostitutes, women that look like me, that look like you. Yet, in their eyes, a private despair. Cessna, you flew me here and now my heart is breaking for them. God, why did I come here? Why did you give me a curious mind? Nothing I would say or do can take away the brokenness of this world. I feel ashamed to say, I quickly regretted going there. I would rather be on the other side of the city, so I turned around ready to head back.  Yet there, behind me was an elderly man sitting on the ground with a basket of carnations.

I don’t think I have ever seen an ugly flower. A flower is always a flower and it is people who decipher which to call a weed.  I love the dandelions of the fields behind my home, reminding me of my days as a child. I remember the rose bushes outside my bedroom window growing up. I remember my brother’s garden. I remember the name I was given, the rose of Sharon. I remember the only man who ever bought me flowers and his precious words, “every inch of your soul and body is beautiful”.

I gave the man 50 Euros for the basket of the red carnations. Cessna’s words always echo in my mind. Somehow the kindest hearts suffer the most, yet they give us the tools to thrive the best. The sacrifice of love makes my blood run red. Jesus makes my heart beautiful. If l’m going to wear red, I’m wearing it boldly. I wonder if these women see that they are beautiful, that they are radiant just as the carnations. I cannot change what is or what was, but I can change what will be. We are all vessels of hope to world that is hurting.  God can use us to bring light to this dark world, even the smallest acts done in love. You don’t have to speak a word for me to read your eyes.  I see your private despair. There is not much I can say.

La Latina, a street filled with prostitutes and the best Tapas in all Madrid. As I passed each woman, I handed her a bright red carnation. If you’re going to wear red, wear it boldly. Innocence is pure bliss stolen from us. We are robbed of many things. Today I want to take back what’s mine and give what I can. There is a provision for hope, here it was the red carnations. As I approached the end of the street I was encouraged by what was before me. Even in the valley, I was walking toward the cross, and reminded of how His love runs red.

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