Friday, April 25, 2008

Moment in Mexico City

So, I have been sharing about how God has been trying to get me out of my
comfort zone (see this post). Well... He is still working toward this aim, and preparing me for SOMETHING. I pray that I can always say that God is
preparing me for something!!!

As part of this preparation process, I know that God has brought me to
blogland! I am slowly and surely finding an amazing network of friends whose
stories challenge and inspire me.

One such new friend is Angel. Her story, her heart for God, and her heart for the hurting, somehow seem to lift me up daily. Of course, the fact that she seems a
bit over-dramatic makes me adore her all the more!! Thanks, Angel, for being a passionate dramaqueen for the King!!

I have been meeting up with lots of awesome people, but the reason why I bring up Angel at this point is because she suggested (in response to her "Dangerous Surrender" post) that I write about an experience that I had 4 years ago, in Mexico City. I share this story in prayer that it will inspire Christian action, and also, so that it will serve as a reminder to me of the heartbreak God revealed. Please share with me the heartbreaks that God has revealed to you!

A Moment in Mexico City

Mexico City is one of the largest cities in the world. At the time of my visit, there were 25 million people living there. It is also, like many international cities, a study in the contrasts between the filthy rich and major poverty.
Toward the end of my trip, My husband and I took a trip to visit the Basilica of Our Lady of Guadalupe. This church was built to mark the location of an appearance of the Virgin of Guadalupe. God spoke to me very clearly there.
People had walked for miles on their knees, in pilgrimage, to come worship the Virgin. There was such opulence in this poor place, and there were thousands of people flocking into the basilica with offerings of money and flowers. You had to pay to enter. On the way into the basilica, I, and countless others, worked our way OVER the poor, weak, broken, begging and needy to go inside. To go worship!!?! As I knelt before a painting of Christ, God Himself allowed me to catch a glimpse, an intense moment, of His grief.
I wept bitterly in that place as Christ opened my eyes to how we, Christians!, walk OVER the very thing Jesus wants us to reach out and touch. And so often, we do this 'walking over and walking past,' in the name of religion. Oh, have mercy!!
I will never forget the blind woman who was begging at a souvenir stand. She lay in a heap of hot, black clothing. Her cup was held pitifully in front of her. Her face was leathered from the sun, and she was a forgotten, weak, walked-over soul. I saw her just before I got in line to the church. I gave her nothing.
Earlier that morning, I had bought a beautiful silver necklace. It was thick with gorgeous, heavy chains. I did not hesitate to drop many dollars on this piece-of-thing.
It was the blind, begging woman, and the silver chain necklace that God replayed in my mind. He flashed before me all of the people I had disregarded on my way in to 'sight see,' at His church. I had to hide my very face from His Glory and Mercy. My sin was made clear: God showed me my heart... and it was pitiful and self-serving. It was thick with gorgeous, heavy chains!! I wept uncontrollably for the entire day.
This happened at a time when I was in deep questioning. I was praying regularly for healing (one of these days I will post about my vocal paralysis). Just after my moment in Mexico City, God promptly and faithfully spoke to me through his Word, Isaiah 58:4-11:
4"...You cannot fast as you do today
and expect your voice to be heard on high.
5 Is this the kind of fast I have chosen,
only a day for a man to humble himself?
Is it only for bowing one's head like a reed
and for lying on sackcloth and ashes?
Is that what you call a fast,
a day acceptable to the LORD ?
6 "Is not this the kind of fasting I have chosen:
to loose the chains of injustice
and untie the cords of the yoke,
to set the oppressed free
and break every yoke?
7 Is it not to share your food with the hungry
and to provide the poor wanderer with shelter—
when you see the naked, to clothe him,
and not to turn away from your own flesh and blood?
8 Then your light will break forth like the dawn,
and your healing will quickly appear;
then your righteousness will go before you,
and the glory of the LORD will be your rear guard.
9 Then you will call, and the LORD will answer;
you will cry for help, and he will say: Here am I.
"If you do away with the yoke of oppression,
with the pointing finger and malicious talk,
10 and if you spend yourselves in behalf of the hungry
and satisfy the needs of the oppressed,
then your light will rise in the darkness,
and your night will become like the noonday.
11 The LORD will guide you always;
he will satisfy your needs in a sun-scorched land
and will strengthen your frame.
You will be like a well-watered garden,
like a spring whose waters never fail."

3 friends had a thing or two to say...:

Angel said...

Thanks!!! I will link you! :0) Angel

Billie said...

Great story...I remember you sharing it with me before.

Unfortunately we do it everyday...not just in Mexico City.

Angel said...

OK I got to sit down and really read this through now that it's Monday with the kids on bed. :0) What a great post. You are so right. Angel