Isaiah 61:10 – 12
10 I delight greatly in the LORD;
my soul rejoices in my God.
For he has clothed me with garments of salvation
and arrayed me in a robe of his righteousness,
as a bridegroom adorns his head like a priest,
and as a bride adorns herself with her jewels.
11 For as the soil makes the sprout come up
and a garden causes seeds to grow,
so the Sovereign LORD will make righteousness
and praise spring up before all nations.
The first medical clinic day was in a remote mountain village. Remote being a vertical term. The drive took well over 2 hours, but we traveled less than 40 miles over roads that at times were not even trails. How the driver knew where to go I will never know. This was a village that had seen few if any white people.
The first thing I noticed was their clothing. These people showed up in their very best clothing to stand in line all day to speak to someone about their physical needs. All of the women wore traditional Mayan garments of hand-woven skirts and hand embroidered blouses. Even the old women had their hair braided with colorful ribbons. What were we wearing? Jeans, t-shirts, sweats. I wonder what they thought about our clothing? I wondered then at the level of respect and honor they showed us that we did not show them. I hadn’t even brought nice clothes along. I felt so humbled by their attire and what it represented. I’ve rarely ever seen such beautiful craftsmanship.
Breaking the ice with this village was a bit more difficult than it had been at the village where we’d built the houses. These villagers had no reason to trust us beyond the words spoken to them by the native employees of the mission base. It didn’t take too long to coax the children into games of catch, jump rope, frisbee, coloring and nail polish. I had taken along some yarn and a crochet hook and decided to see what would happen if I sat down and started to crochet. A simple rosette bracelet took about 5 minutes to work up. After I got started a couple of grandmas came over to see what I was up to. When I gave the first one away to one of them I was soon flocked with mammas, grandmas and girls who wanted a bracelet. I kept working on them until it got too dark to see. As I was sitting there surrounded by women in beautiful hand crafted clothes, children laughing and chasing the members of the team, Guatemalan men standing around keeping a watchful yet entertained eye on their family members and the beauty of the Guatemalan mountains around us… I couldn’t stop thinking about my grandmother. Grandma taught me how to crochet when I was 9-years-old. I wonder if she ever dreamed that I would be sitting in a tiny Guatemalan village crocheting rosette bracelets to show a bit of Jesus’ love. I doubt it, but I’m sure she was smiling that day!
After the sun went down the movie came out. The Jesus movie. For many of them this was the first time they’d ever seen a movie at all. After the movie Hermanos Jesus got up to preach about the Gospel of Jesus Christ. We didn’t need to understand his words to be touched by his passion for his Savior. When he gave out the opportunity for Salvation, nearly the entire village came forward to receive this priceless gift. The energy in that small one room school was even more overwhelming than it had been at the home dedications. The lights seemed to glow brighter, the tears that gathered in every eye glimmered with the hope of the cross. Hugs and prayers and smiles and joy. The mission director told us later that one of them came to him and requested more leadership and discipleship. God is so amazing.
To Be Continued………
2 thoughts on “Put on Your Sunday Clothes”
Your Grandma’s love action to you is still being used by God today. Death does not stop the impact of one’s life on this earth. May the love you showed them be talked about for generations. One woman, like One God gives the gift of love. Both give freely and may what you made them make them feel important, and open their hearts to your God, the one who gives the greatest gift of all and values them more than life itself. God was moving in the hearts of many that day, Praise the Lord! His Word shall not return void. Continue to allow Him to move through you and touch the hearts of others.
I can’t really describe the emotions of that day. Sitting there in the Guatemalan sunshine I was emotionally transported back in time to my Grandmother’s living room couch learning how to work the stitches. She has been gone for 19 years now, but I could still here her words of guidance that afternoon. I could even (almost) smell the scent of her home. A mixture of fresh vegetables from her garden and baking bread. That moment in time was as much a gift for me as it was for the women surrounding me.