The lady who had shepherded me through my then ten-day stay in El Salvador, Maria, walked me the three miles to her home. Her home was a shed made of tin on three sides and closed in by a black plastic tarp on the fourth. She and her husband and two grandchildren have a single chair. They insisted I sit in it. Maria offered me a cup of water. She carefully explained and pantomimed that she had washed the cup and strained the water because she knew my digestive system was “little.”
The Holy Spirit entered me. Up until that moment, I had felt a bit embarrassed a
nd certainly awkward to be taking their meager supplies for my comfort. But I began to think about what it means to have someone so aware of your littleness, so aware of your needs.
Jesus told a story where the king says, “Whatever you do for these little ones you have done for me.” (Matthew 25:40)
Maria gave me something precious out of the riches she does have. She gave me a sense of what it is to be a child of God, a child beloved by Christ, and though not deserving, loved by Christ or, evidently, Maria.
So Maria taught me how to live, how to serve and how to look for new life even in the middle of what I still see as pain and poverty. That can only be the work of the Holy Spirit.
A Prayer adapted from St Oscar Romero:
In your kin-dom, Lord,
There aren’t two categories of people.
There aren’t some that were born to have everything,
leaving the rest with nothing,
and a majority that has nothing
and cannot taste the happiness
that God has created for all.
The society you want, Lord,
is one in which we share the goodness
that you have given for everyone.
May we yearn for and work for such a world. Amen.
From the NC Council of Churches’ Ecumenical Immigration Alliance
To raise awareness this week:
Discuss basic facts in your church small group or congregation about current laws and the acts of discrimination facing immigrant populations.
To become educated this week:
Provide your small group or congregation with facts and resources on the pathway to citizenship and the reasons for migration for the immigrant populations in NC.
To advocate this week:
Visit immigrants in local detention facilities.
Gray Southern is an elder in the North Carolina Conference currently serving as the district superintendent of the Capital District.