Sunday, July 15, 2012

Except Jesus.

During a home visit two Fridays ago, we visited Irma. Upon first meeting her, I was caught off guard by her abrasiveness. It was obvious from day one that she has had a difficult life. Over the next couple weeks, Irma's heart seemed to soften and even opened a bit. She can't read or write, her now 22-year old son was born blind, she feels alone.  Her daughter moved out... because of an argument. Several weeks passed without seeing Irma, so we visited her. On that Friday I was sobered by the reality of her distress and her heavy heart-breaking home-life.

She shared with us about her husband who was paralyzed in an accident. His family took him away from her years ago because they didn't trust her to care for him.  She's been living with a boyfriend half her age for the last five years. He is drunk nearly every night and hasn't held a job since moving in. Irma works part-time cleaning houses and washing cloths in an attempt to make ends meet. Most nights she doesn't know if they'll have food for the next day. Since her daughter and son-in-law moved out after a fight over land, she told her live-in boyfriend he should leave, too.  She admitted there had been nights when there wasn't enough food for everyone, so instead of feeding her son, she fed her boyfriend. When Irma finally kicked him out, she said, "if I can handle my daughter leaving, I can handle you leaving, too." Now she still lives with her blind son, who also only has the mental capacity of a 10-year old... at best. When she works, her only option is to lock her son inside the house alone. There are many days she comes home to find him covered in urine, and at least once she found him with blood stained clothes from a nose bleed. She prefers to continue her part-time work and only eat every other night rather than to work full-time and leave her son alone everyday.

I was stunned. sobered. shocked.

I left with the overwhelming feeling of having nothing to offer her. Except Jesus. Money won't fix her brokenness. New shoes won't repair her soul. Food won't satisfy her hunger. There is nothing. Except Jesus. My American fix-it mentality was really confronted that day. Usually, I can fall back on my "really great ideas" or "innovative solutions" but I was reminded, rather punched in the face, with the fact that I have nothing. And really do I ever have anything to offer? Except Jesus. And He is enough. More than enough. And He is the only thing worth offering.

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