Her husband left her with two babies three months ago. She lives on less than 50 cents a week. She has no education. She has next to zero material possessions. She lives in a tiny mud brick house that is quickly deteriorating under the fast, heavy downpours of rainy season. The unrelenting sun beats down all day long, heating the mud bricks like an oven and baking the residents inside even as they lay down their heads at night on a mat in the dirt, completely exposed to mosquitoes and scorpions. At any moment her husband could choose to return and kick her out on false accusations of sleeping around. He has the right. He can take the kids. He can take the house. In this world, she has no hope.
She is poor. This is life.
We go to visit her. Her kids explode from the dark doorway, smiling and falling over themselves with pure excitement to see us. She follows behind them. Emerging from the mud bricks into the glorious sunlight is a strong, gorgeous woman. The warmness in her heart melts away her tough exterior. Even though she has nothing to offer, her love provides more hospitality than kings. She shows us around her house, and too soon it is time for us to leave. I walk away wondering if I’ll ever encounter her again. Suddenly, I am stopped and told that she wants to tell me something. I turn around and walk toward her, bracing myself with every intention to do my best at interpreting her French and mustering up a coherent response.
She takes my hands…
To my surprise, she does not speak, but stares deeply into my eyes. I am caught in her glance, and in her eyes I see suffering, I see courage, I see loss, I see hope, I see strength, I see hardship, I see thankfulness, I see pain, I see joy– I see Jesus.
I see more in her eyes than words could ever say. After what seems like hours, although only a few seconds, she says to me with a gentle voice, “que Dieu te bénisse”.
I walk away in awe…..she is blessing ME??? I don’t deserve that.
Though truly, I’ve never been more blessed or honored to see a tiny glimpse into this beautiful heart. Words we never had, but the bond between us I’m certain that death itself could not break. She is clothed in strength and dignity. She is a woman who fears the Lord.
She is rich. This is LIFE.
“…as sorrowful, yet always rejoicing; as poor, yet making many rich; as having nothing, yet possessing everything.” -2 Corinthians 6:10