You know the story of the man being lowered from the roof to see Jesus?
I can’t help but think of this as I watch four team members hike up a slippery hillside carrying a chair with Pastor Montinat’s oldest neighbor on it, taking her safely back home after treating her medically with a sore that needed scraped for infection and re-cleaned.
This is what happens when you choose to get past the surface of people’s lives. This was not a day of talking AT strangers, handing out crafts impersonally, or praying and walking away to forget what was prayed over – instead, it was going deeper and walking into Gran’s home and sitting on the best chairs she had to offer. If was seeing her leg, which looked to be painful and was keeping her from being able to walk at this point, and making a phone call to go deeper. It was the choice to carry her down a hillside, sing hymns through her painful procedure, and stay even if the process was making stomachs turn at the sight of such pain.
What a beautiful picture of the body of Christ.
And as the community stood and watched – which they did, an entire crowd gathered to see what this was all about – they gathered to the home of a pastor. They saw love, prayer, singing, healing. They saw time, sacrifice, intention, listening ears, and care. They saw people being inconvenienced. They saw pain for another in the eyes of a visitor, real empathy for the pain of this woman they just met.
That same crowd had plenty of people in it who are not interested in church, and who have seen surface level help from many visitors. This same crowd had people in it who are not interested in what Pastor Montinat has to say, but who came to listen the next day when he told them to talk to the visitors.
This is why we believe in partnership. We believe in going deeper, in returning to Pastor Montinat’s house and knowing him personally so that he can point us to who he knows personally. Gran is his neighbor and her daughter was singing in the congregation on Sunday, these are real lives in a long term relationship.
Thank you, Grace Osceola, for how you loved in Las Cahobas this June.