I've had people ask me recently .. what is the beginning of your story? Tell us your stories .. how did you get to this part of your life??
Can I... can I indulge for a moment or five and tell you stories? Stories in no particular order or sequence but my stories in part .. that tell of my middles and ends and beginnings and the do overs over and over and over again!
Come and meet that Dirty Little Girl!
California, the land of milk and honey, or so I thought. After some major heart beak and disappointment in what was meant to be the promised land turned quickly into my dessert experience.
Apparent that I was nursing a broken heart from a recent breakup, a new friend asked if I would like to join her crossing the border to minister at an orphanage just outside of Tijuana, Mexico.
I thought this would be a great opportunity to pour some of my love into someone and just the thing that everyone prescribes after a breakup, “Do something for someone else!”
Overnight bag in hand, ready for an adventure, I climbed into Sue’s white caravan that was missing both of the passenger side hubcaps. She noticed me eyeing the dings on the side of her van and she laughed and said “Mexico, never a dull moment!”
We take off and soon we were driving across the border. I was shocked almost as soon as we crossed into Mexico with the vast difference that a few hundred yards had made as we passed thru the barricades. Suddenly the traffic from several lanes was merging into one lane to exit. At this moment I knew Sue had been across the border on more than one occasion and just as sure this is where all the dents had come from! She honked and swerved thru the traffic all the while laughing, saying “HOLD ON! Here we go.. You haven’t seen anything yet!” boy, was that ever true, even more than I could ever imagine.
As we drove she told me about the staff, their mission and the children. It was then that I found out that it wasn’t just an orphanage, but an orphanage for physically and mentally challenged children living in horrible conditions. Little did I know I was only moments away from an experience that would forever change me?
We weaved our way thru many small towns with no signage or lights, an adventure for sure! Finally pulling into a compound surrounded with a tall brick wall, she instructs me to grab my belongings and we head inside one of the closest doors. We enter a dimly lit room, cluttered with tattered furniture. “HOLA!!!” Yells Sue and all of a sudden things come to life! A staff member comes running from another room, “HOLA, Sue!” They were greeting each other with kisses when a small figure comes whizzing thru the door. I hardly had time to acknowledge that it was a child as she bolted towards me hitting me full force with shouts and unrecognizable squeals!
I look down and there is this little girl, all of three feet high and four years old latched upon my leg. Dark hair, big chocolate eyes and a little face colored with fresh boogers and crustiness that had apparently been there for some time. I patted the top of her head and gently tried to detach her from my leg. Unsuccessful, I further try to wiggle my way free and look down to notice that she had the familiar look of a downs syndrome child, eyes ever slightly apart and a broad smile that showed a row of the tiniest teeth I’ve ever seen!
Her arms flailing upward towards me trying to catch my attention, as if I had never noticed her. I look helplessly towards Sue who was in a deep conversation. I was hoping somehow that she would save me but there was no hope in sight so I did what I couldn’t avoid, I picked up this little girl. I hoisted her to my hip where she planted herself like a vise scrip around my waist and it was then for the first time I became very aware of her overflowing diaper and the unfathomable stench.
I held my breath and tried as I might to smile at the little girl as she put her face close to mine. Unable to avoid her touch she put her cheek upon mine then promptly turned and tried to bite me! Pulling away avoiding the bite only to be met with her hand in my blonde hair giving it a hard yank.
At this point I became overwhelmed with the smell and the mucus that I thought I could hardly contain myself. Thankfully, Sue came over and took Angelica from my hip and held her out at arm’s length and back to the staff member. Sue looked at me rather pitifully and said “Let’s go get you cleaned up and get ready for bed”.
I wanted to run to the room, but didn’t know what direction to go. I just desperately wanted to get out of my clothes and wash the stench from my skin and disinfect myself from head to toe.
As I was washing up and changing for the night Sue was telling me about the tasks for the next day. I don’t think I remember much except the comfort of her voice over the shouts of my flesh yelling “RUN, get out of here, this is gross!” I was totally disgusted with the filth and nastiness of this little child and to think I would be surrounded with 30 more the next day that were in worse shape.
I said a quick prayer as I lay down, emotionally exhausted.
As I dozed off I started to dream a dream of a filthy little girl. Horribly dirty little girl, with a stench so pungent that it attracted flies. Hair so matted you couldn’t see the color. Feet so black as if they had never been washed. I tried not to look at her as she disgusted me and turned my stomach but just then Jesus came into my dreams and held my hand and told me to look at her face.
The little girl turned towards me, disgracefully filthy, unrecognizable. She looks up and as I looked into her saddened blue eyes I instantly knew it to be ME!.
The Lord said to me “See this little girl? This little girl is covered with her sin and brokenness and this is the way that Father God sees her when she is in that sin.” Then Jesus reaches out and touches the little girl (me) in my dreams and she becomes clean, beautiful, radiant, playful.. full of hope and joy. Jesus then looks back at me and says “See this little girl? This little girl is now covered in my love and forgiveness”
I was loved by Jesus in my filth and brokenness. I was loved even tho I smelled of death and destruction. I was given a gift that cleansed away every sin and broke every chain that oppressed me. I was clean, joyful and wholly forgiven by none other than Jesus Christ of Nazareth. This is how Father God sees me now because Jesus’
“As I see you, you are to see my children” said Jesus.
I woke up from the dream to a rooster crowing outside our window. I wiped the tears from my face and rolled over to find Sue staring at me and she whispered “Are you ok?” I whispered back “YES”.
We laid there waiting for the sun to rise and we softly began to thank the Lord for the work that lay ahead, that we hear His voice and walk in obedience in each task. As our joint prayers ended I looked outside the window and quietly thanked the Lord for visiting me in my dreams.
I am forever changed in such a profound way from that moment on. Today the Lord continues to teach me to see His children as HE does. To look beyond the physical, emotional, intellectual and even the spiritual state of each person He sends into my life and see them as He does. Perfect and wholly loved by Him.
Who am I, but a once dirty little girl…
Isaiah 64:6 (AMP)
6 For we have all become like one who is unclean [ceremonially, like a leper], and all our righteousness (our best deeds of rightness and justice) is like filthy rags or a polluted garment; we all fade like a leaf, and our iniquities, like the wind, take us away [far from God’s favor, hurrying us toward destruction].
23 Since all have sinned and are falling short of the honor and glory [b]which God bestows and receives.
24 [All] are justified and made upright and in right standing with God, freely and gratuitously by His grace (His unmerited favor and mercy), through the redemption which is [provided] in Christ Jesus,
25 Whom God put forward [[c]before the eyes of all] as a mercy seat and propitiation by His blood [the cleansing and life-giving sacrifice of atonement and reconciliation, to be received] through faith. This was to show God’s righteousness, because in His divine forbearance He had passed over and ignored former sins without punishment.
26 It was to demonstrate and prove at the present time ([d]in the now season) that He Himself is righteous and that He justifies and accepts as righteous him who has [true] faith in Jesus.
“ as Christ loved the church and gave Himself up for her, 26 So that He might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the Word, 27 That He might present the church to Himself in glorious splendor, without spot or wrinkle or any such things [that she might be holy and faultless].
Have you ever looked down at another Christian because of their life circumstance? Ex: finances, past, relationships, looks, where they live etc?
What does Jesus say about this person?
How would Jesus want you, His Disciple, to love and treat this person?
Who has Father God, put on this earth to show His love?
Do you remember a time someone looked down upon you? How did that make you feel?
What can you do today to change how you ‘look’ at people?