Feliz Cinco de Mayo y Taco Tuesday. Having spent high school to young adulthood in Los Angeles, Cinco de Mayo was always a fun excuse to go downtown L.A. and sample food, admire clothes, and experiment with being cross-cultural. Youth trips were to work at orphanages in Tijuana. My first mission experience was passing out hand-crank record players along the northern Mexico border with the USA. Like many Americans, I thought today celebrated independence from Spain. Nope! Cinco de Mayo remembers May 5, 1862, the Battle of Puebla, when a small group of mestizos and Mexican Indians trounced the French army descending on Mexico City.
Today is an opportunity to be grateful for the people of Spanish descent that have added so much to American culture. Yesterday I was at a meeting discussing the opening of church, end of May, beginning of June. We paused to reflect on pre-cell phone times, pre-instant news when our parents waited weeks for letters from soldiers in WWII or from relatives in the “homeland.” I am aware that most all our ancestors were once “new” to the USA and were “the little guy” facing a huge trauma. They have added to the flavor or us. Where is your battle today? Calendar wisdom shares, “No one is so self-sufficient that he does not need God (author unknown),” and I would add, need a friend. As we perhaps have a taco today and face the challenges life presents us, may we never forget the God who is present and defends and protects us and the “other” who travels with us. Blessings.