I continue to see sweet, little, 60-year old Passianna for therapy (I wrote about her in the post titled “Sent by the I AM”). Last I wrote about her, I told her that she should come to church the following Sunday and find me so I could introduce her to Pastor Luc and hopefully put her in contact with the right people so she can grow in her relationship with Jesus. It was Monday when she prayed to ask Jesus into her life. She was supposed to return to therapy on Friday, but she did not show. I looked for her in church that Sunday but did not see her either. When she showed up for therapy on Monday wearing the exact same thing she had worn the week before, I inquired about where she had been. She said that after she went home from therapy last time (a week earlier), she found that her house had been broke into, and she was robbed of everything she had. The only thing she had left were the clothes on her back when she was at therapy. That Friday when she was supposed to come to therapy, she was sick with a headache and the following Sunday, she couldn’t come because she didn’t have any clothes to wear for church.
Her story broke my heart. We talked and prayed together, and I pointed out that at the moment she was praying, asking Jesus into her life, a thief broke into her house and stole everything she had. She could have chosen to be mad at God when she got home, but I don’t think she was because when I saw her that day, she still wore her beautiful smile and laughed with her infectious giggle that I will never forget.
I think often times when we choose Jesus and we desire to be more like Him, it often may feel like we are robbed of everything we have. It may be because as we become more like Christ, we become less like the world and sometimes that means giving up things that had been familiar for so long. Other times, our relationship with Jesus may affect our relationships with others we love or may cause us to undergo some degree of persecution. It may be easy to feel like we’ve lost everything we have because we’ve lost the ways of the world. But fortunately, when we choose Christ, in the midst of those feelings, we also feel complete wholeness. A void that after years of trying to fill it with everything else and no matter what we tried to fill it with it just didn’t work, is finally filled.
Pastor Raburn, my translator, and I took her out to see Sé (Sister) Matilde who runs the clothing pantry. We told Matilde Passianna’s story and soon got Passianna some new clothes. On top of that, Matilde did a little of her own preaching and teaching, which I expected. Passianna returned for therapy that Friday, and I again invited her to church. When I saw her yesterday for therapy, she told me she was at church, but I didn’t see her. I’m continuing to see her for therapy, but honestly, my main objective for having her continue to come back, is to encourage her spiritually, not physically. Yes, I think therapy is helping some, but because of her age and motivation, I don’t think anything we do will bring about lifelong changes. The pain she has just tends to move around her body with each visit. So, we do some exercises; I rub her down with my “placebo cream” (Icy-Hot), and we pray.