[If you want, first read my previous post here about connection.]
With sweat dripping down my forehead and back, I walked over mounds of trash. I felt dirty, even with pants and rubber boots on. But this was my purpose for the day, so it didn’t matter; peanut butter sandwich in hand, I walked toward him anyways.
Breathing in the hot, smelly air as I walked, I thought about the life he is living. He is a refugee living in a garbage dump in the Dominican Republic. He either lives under a tree or in an extremely impoverished community within walking distance from the dump. His days are spent under the hot Dominican sun, rummaging through the garbage with bare hands looking for something he can eat, wear or sell. Even at that moment, he was too busy working and claiming his trash to come and take the food and water we had for him.
As I walked closer, I took in the scene. Garbage everywhere. But in the distance, the natural beauty of the Dominican Republic surrounded the pain that is woven in. And the man, starving to death, sick, and longing for a better life.
And suddenly, looking at the man, I saw myself.
I saw myself, dirty with sin and digging through the distractions and waste in my own life, looking for something to satisfy me for the moment.
And I saw Jesus, walking to me, getting dirty from the mess I’ve made. And I saw Him with not just a peanut butter sandwich, but an entire spiritual feast that He made just for me; it will satisfy me forever.
I was simply feeding the man’s stomach, but Jesus was feeding my soul, once again.
You see, it’s usually in the pits, the painful places, that I meet Jesus. He’s there. He’s always there, entering in. What a Savior; what a model of Love, that He would let us see Him there-that He wants us to see Him there.
“En el nombre de Jesus,” I said, handing the man the sandwich, giving him a form of physical satisfaction for the morning. And in the same moment, I was reminded of the spiritual satisfaction I have been given for life, in the name of Jesus.
The man and I come from two opposite worlds, yet we share the exact same need for a Savior.
“Come, everyone who thirsts,
come to the waters;
and he who has no money,
come, buy and eat.
…come to me;
hear, that your soul may live;”
Isaiah 55:1, 3
We all thirst.
We are all the same.
[and if you want to know more about the garbage dumps and the people living in them in the Dominican Republic, read this]