Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Have You Seen Jesus Today?

Have you seen Jesus today?

Perhaps I should say, "Have you seen Jesus in someone's life today?"

I put this question to the women during our Monday gathering. After a little initial confusion, they understood what I meant. Then in English and Hausa their stories began pouring forth.

Rose, an HIV+ widow, shared that as she and her three children were preparing their breakfast, their neighbor knocked on their door and gave them a food warmer containing a delicious bean and corn dish. They forgot their own preparations and fell upon the hot food, savoring the taste as well as the warmth of the gesture.

Esther, HIV+, said that that morning she just decided to make a cup of tea for the youngest child of her neighbor. In the small boy's excitement over the tea, he accidentally spilled it all over the rough ground. Distressed, he frantically began trying to scoop up the tea with his plastic spoon. Esther was filled with compassion and made him another cup of tea. Later she learned that the children's mother had left their home early that morning in search of food to feed her children.

(Tea is a common breakfast drink for all ages in Nigeria. Generally, it's a brown tea with milk and sugar added.)

Jummai shared that her neighbors always verbally abused her because of her HIV status. She never fought back. She decided to cook some food for the family. To her surprise, they were very grateful, and even ate all of the food.

It was interesting to note that the common thread in most of the stories was food. You know, food was pretty important to Jesus too. The night before during our family devotions, we had read the story of Jesus feeding the 5000. Why was he concerned? He knew that people couldn't really absorb his message if their stomachs were hungry. He met their physical needs as well as their spiritual needs.

In the evening at home, I told the kids these stories around the dinner table. Then I said, "So those are just a few of the stories from today." David said, "Please tell us ALL of the stories."

How about you? Have you seen Jesus today?


UcheSarah said...

These were beautiful stories. We have become convinced that to just focus only on spiritual needs, especially amongst the poor, is to separate ministry in a way Jesus never did. We hope that our life ministry will reflect our concern for a person's physical and spiritual life.

Sandi said...

What great stories! I was able to volunteer to babysit my neighbor's kids for an extra day. She told me I was an answer to her prayers.