"Not so easily was I remade as made. He spoke and all things were made. But while he made me simply and at once by a word, he has in the remaking of me said many words, and worked wonders and suffered much." (St. Bernard)

Monday, February 25, 2013

Luz de Belen

It is incredible to see the awesome way God uses you. But, you have to be open to it. I believe that you must pray to our Heavenly Father to show you His Son. Beg your Holy Mother to show you how you are to live a life that is a complete 'YES!' We have been praying more and more for God to open our hearts to those divine appointments that He has waiting for us. Lord, show us how you want to use us, today, right now. So often we just carry on our own way, walking by people, and we don't think twice about that person we just passed, or even that person we had a quick conversation with. What is going in their life? As a member of the Body of Christ, in what way do they need me? What gifts do I have to offer them?

I would like to recount an event that happened in Quito right before coming to Ahuano. We were waiting to finish the process to get our Visas. We had 5 hours to wait. So, we ventured out into the city. About an hour and a half before we had to get back for our Visas, Matt reminded us that he needed a couple of things for his guitar before we headed to Ahuano. We asked a man at this restaurant where to find the closest music shop. It took us almost half and hour to walk there. Along, the way we saw this woman and her two kids on the side of the road. Her eyes revealed an abyss of great sadness within her. We stopped to talk to her and her kids. Her name is Luz de Belen (Light of Bethlehem) and she was holding in her arms a sleeping infant. The older boy with her, Sebastian who is about 2 years old, immediately jumped in my arms when I sat down to talk with him. He desired so much love and affection. Luz has 5 kids and her husband just left her after her last baby. She is living on the street with her kids, because she just lost her job and therefore her apartment because she can't pay rent. When we first began talking with her she couldn't speak, but only cried. Her sadness was overwhelming. We played with Sebastian and talked with her and Sebastian about the awesome love of our God. We prayed over her, laying our hands on her and the kids. It was an incredible experience. We gave some money to her and some of the food we had to Sebastian. When we left, she was no longer crying, but in her eyes there was a bright light, the flame of Christ within her had been fed.

The more I think about this encounter with this woman and her children, the more I realize that we actually encountered Jesus. When you think of three men walking from a distant land, who come upon the light and find a woman holding an infant, and then before they leave, give gifts to them, what do you think about? This is the story of the Magi who follow the star that stops over Bethlehem (Mt. 2:1-12). We stopped when we saw Light of Bethlehem (Luz de Belen). We came not bearing gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh, but with the gifts of kindness, hope and love. We gave a few minutes of our day to someone who has been forgotten, to show them that they have dignity; to show them they are loved by One who entered into our poverty as one of us; to show them that the One who was rejected, "because there was no room for them in the inn" (Lk 2:7), has gone to "prepare a place" (Jn. 14:3) for her and her children.

In our mission in Ecuador, we have experienced some awesome encounters with people, sometimes immediately after we pray for them. "For everyone who asks, receives; and the one who seeks, finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened" (Mt. 7:8). I encourage you to make this a part of your prayer each day, especially as you are heading out from your house. Every time you are about to meet with someone, ask for the Lord to show you how you can witness to them. These encounters will happen when you least expect them. And allow any moment to be that moment where you encounter the Light of Bethlehem.