COMING TO KNOW CHRIST
This last week we heard a knock on the door.
"It's the testigos again." announced Crystal as she peeked out the window to check.
The Jehovahs Witnesses were back, but this time I felt bad. "How many times do we knock on doors and people don't open for us?" I thought to myself, "I've been trying to be a more Christlike person lately, and I've been praying A LOT for charity" so I decided to give it a go.
I went out to talk to them and invite them to the Noche De Hogar [Family Home Evening] acvitity (forgot what its called in English) for Saturday. I went, and as soon as I had made it out the door a group of three other people started bashing.
They never once asked my name, how I was doing, where I was from. They didn't bother mentioning the lovely flowers in the yard or asking me anything for that matter. They launched right on in. They lectured without love and they talked to me like I didn't know anything.
The whole time they talked, I kept asking myself. "What would Christ do? How would He react? What would He say? What would He not say? "Love them Ruby, just love them. Let them get it out and invite them with LOVE." I listened. I smiled. I nodded my head as they went on and on and on.
Then one of them interrupted and starting talking down to me. Talking bad about our church and what I do all day everyday. I tried to let it slide off me, but it hurt. After a good 20 minutes of listening, I politely interupted and told them we had to get to an appointment and invited them to the activity.
The lady told me she would not be going. Cool. As I walked back into our house I looked up to see my favorite photo of Christ starring back at me. Then it hit me. Tears ran down my face as I thought about how many times people Bible-bashed and lectured Him. How very many times people made Christ feel small and insignificant and stupid. And the thought came strongly and clearly, "It hurt him too." Every lecture and cruel comment. Not because He hated them, but because He loved them. And that makes it hurt even worse.
Sometimes I think we try to hold back our love or only give out parts of it because when we really love with all we've got it makes it a lot easier to get hurt. But in that moment I came to know Christ. I guess before, whenever I read or heard of accounts of people giving Christ crap, I figured because He was the Son of God and perfect that it slid off him. That it didn't hurt. That it didn't sting. That it didn't affect him. After all, He was the Son of God. He was perfect.
But in that moment, starring at that picture of Him, it hit me that IT HURT HIM TOO. And it humbled me a lot to feel that. In that moment I felt His presence and I felt my prayers being answered. In the words of a good friend of mine, "Never forget what He did for you, but ALWAYS remember what you can do for Him." (shout out to Jake VanB for inspiring me the other week with his e mail)
HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO ME
So basically I have the best Mexican friends ever. We started out the day teaching our WONDERFUL investigator Emma. She made me a JELLO (woot) and bought me a little donut and a milkshake ( they're just TRYING to fatten me up I swear) and gave me a darling Bettie Boop wallet and a huge [?]. She also sang me the special Mexican birthday ballad. I love her.
Then we went to visit Nubia and German - our CONVERT, and after the hymn they said, "Wait we want to sing another!" and as I searched for a good hymn they began singing the birthday ballad (the Mexican birthday song is way prettier than ours). Then while we were saying the opening prayer they sneaked into the other room and set a beautifully wrapped present on the table. German had made me a watercolor of a tree and Nubia had knitted me a flowered headband. I love them. SO stinking much.
Then later that night we went with our friend Martha to teach our investigator Alejandro. Alejandro had boughten me a darling scarf and after the lesson they took me out to Mexican cheesecake and pie. They are darling.
The next day we ate with the bishop and he bought me a cake too! Also that night when we went to teach our dear investigator Rubicela, she had boughten me a cake too!! Basically this whole birthday experience was a fattening one. But oh so wonderful.
It made me reflect on the things that really matter. For example: People. Friends. And the importance of surrounding yourself with good human beings. There's a scripture in John that says,
12 This is my commandment, That ye love one another, as I have loved you.
13 Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends .
14 Ye are my friends, if ye do whatsoever I command you.
Christ is the perfect example of a great friend. And He explains very well what a good friendship should be like. It's a two way thing. He gave his life for us, now its time to give our lives to Him. Oh how very thankful I am for good friends and for the love I felt on my birthday.
There was a gigantor lizard in my clothing. I, of course, danced around like a crazy person and screamed (the neighbors already think we're nutty so it's all good). We caught it and took a series of videos and pictures of it. We then showed those picture to a member and she told us that it was WAY too big to be a lizard and that it was in fact an iguana. It's not everyday you find an iguana in your jacket. My life.
*Nubia and German each made me a handmade gift. German made me a water color of a tree and nubia knitted me a flowered headband. They also sang me the special Mexican birthday ballad. I love them. [photo failed]
*Martha (a member) and our investigator Alejandro took me out to cheesecake as a birthday surprise. The scarf is the gift that Alejandro gave me all wrapped in christmas wrapping. I love them.
*Love them. Martha y Alejandro.
*Martha's gift was fancy cookies and hot chocolate
*The bishop bought me a cake. It was delicious and they made me eat two pieces.
*Another investigator Rubicella bought me a cake and sang me the birthday ballad as well. I should have told her what I wanted for my birthday was her at church on Sunday...love her.