Over the fourth of July weekend, when our family was home cooking hotdogs and having barbeques, we had an adventure all our own. We spent our weekend in Livingston, a little island community about an hour boat ride away. From the moment we set our feet on the dock, it was one surprise after another. We walked in a parade, performed at a church, baptized one of our team members in the ocean, and rode in a speedboat over the caribbean. The Lord blessed us with big beautiful adventures, but the most impactful was when we met Jesus in a little shack.
Her name is Justine, she lives in a one room shack complete with a bed and one plastic chair. She has one foot, and a roof that leaks. Other teams have been visiting for years, pursuing her and blessing her. When it was time for us to hunt down Justine, it was dark, on the ocean, and we head to fight off hungry dogs. We trekked along the beach in search of a woman we had never met. When we got to her shack, tired and wet from the ocean, we were not expecting that this moment would change our lives forever.
She welcomed us with hugs and kisses and in her broken english told us, “Happy Day! Dis is like Christmas!” All 25 of us crammed into her little home, bearing gifts of candles and food, and asked her how we can bless her. We started to pray for this lady, in the light of the candles, and found the presence of the Lord. We prayed and sang, and worshipped the Lord with our sister in this room. The presence of our God was so thick in that place, you could actually feel him.
After we sang and worshipped, the only words Justine had to tell us was, “Ï am happy! I am so happy!”
I was reminded in this moment that our God is truly with the least of these. He pursues the ones forgotten, and he calls us to do the same. When we walk past the homeless man on the street, or the sick and widowed, we walk past Jesus. He shows his face to us in unexpected places, and when we don’t stop to look, we just might miss it. We expected to walk in and bless her, but in reality she blessed us.
The only thought I had walking away from that experience was this; The Lord, maker of heaven and earth, lives in a shack. When we grasp the weight of this, it changes everything.