Man, it was hot outside. Daniel the Director of Casa Hogar (Children’s Home) Bethany walks over. I love Daniel so much. He is a visionary, loves the Lord, and is a great story teller. As we start talking, he thinks of a story he wants to tell us as we are digging in the dirt. I stop and realize I am the only one able to translate, so I stop and listen.
Daniel goes on to tell such a sweet story,
” Listen carefully, (everyone stops), the other day I was driving. My car sounded so awful and I was in downtown Monterrey. I decided to find a mechanic on the side of the road. These men waved me into the shop. All I wanted was for them to figure out what was wrong and how much it would cost. I mean, I am a Children’s Home director, I definitely do not make that much money at all. As I pull up and get out of the car and start to explain to one of the men about my vehicle, some other men come rushing in and just start looking at my car and checking it. I tell him that all I want done is for them to see what was wrong. That I wanted to know the price beforehand. This man kept on saying it is all good and we will talk about it after it is fixed.
I was becoming more agitated as they were taking apart my motor and messing around. I told this man again in a louder voice that I want them to stop and I want to know how much it will cost. He continued to try and tell me everything was alright and we will take care of it after. The men were working so fast and before I knew it they were done. They said it is all fixed and ready to go. I was so aggravated that they violated my privacy and would not listen to me, they messed with my car, and would not listen to me. I said, ‘ okay, how much will that be.’ They came back to me and said, ‘$40,000 pesos’ ($2,300 USD). I almost passed out as that is an absurd amount of money. I knew that what they did was not that expensive.
Three other men walked up behind this man as they pressed me for the money. I told them I do not have that kind of money. They said they would drive with me in my vehicle to the ATM right now. I said, I could not pull that much money out of the ATM. As they were getting more agitated with me, I realized I was in a bad spot. They were stealing from me and trying to intimidate me. I had no choice to drive with them back to the Children’s Home where we had some money to pay them. The one man got into my car and three other men drove behind us. It was a solid 1.5 hour drive. As I was driving in my car I was so mad I wanted to punch this man next to me, but I knew what happened after the punch would not have gone to well.
All I could think about was that these men are criminals….and then the man next to me starts to talk to me. He said, ‘So, you’re a Children’s Home Director?’….The nerve this man had to talk to me. I was not going to speak to him, I said, ‘I am’ with a lot of frustration. This man then says, ‘So you’re a Christian?’ and oh how this question hit me to the core. I felt like I was justified in having this righteous anger, but yet still felt convicted with this question. “Why do you ask?”
This man then tells me about how the woman he is with is about to have another baby and he just got out of jail. That his life is a mess and needs direction and answers. He then asks me, as I am still fuming inside, “Do you have anything to say?”
DO I HAVE ANYTHING TO SAY? Oh do I, oh I do….then the Lord hit me with a thought. ‘Listen Carefully’… Is what you’re about to pay really a big price?
“Ummmm yes, Lord, it is a huge price.” I think.
“But, is it really? Do you have cancer? Are you in jail? Do you still have your wife and kids?
Is it a big price?”
Then it hit me what He was encouraging me to see. God sends out his children and uses those who have cancer, or who are in jail, or who have lost their whole family in order to show others how much He loves them. He asks us, allows us, or uses our decisions to place us in very very hard places in order to be with hard people, so that we may share of His great Papa God love to them.
I then realized that $40,000 pesos was not that big of price. God was using an awful situation to set up a divine moment so I could share the love of Christ with this man. This may be his one last chance. That I was placed there to speak with this man, to share Christ’s love to him, and ultimately to show that God is in control.
I went on to tell this man about Jesus and Who He is. I definitely was not as loving as I hoped it would have been, but God taught me a big lesson that day.
To “Listen carefully,” our circumstances and time with people are special no matter if it feels awful, God wants to use it for good. Rather than look at my problem, I look at what perspective God wants me to have in that moment. Because in reality, no matter how hard my life is and where He leads me, the Gospel does not change, and I am there to share Christ’s love with them.”
As I am translating this story, I am trying to hold back tears, because it was such a powerful story he was telling. I saw as these young men were being impacted by these deep words of wisdom and I felt so thankful. I felt blessed to be able to be a part of that moment and most importantly to learn that sweet piece of wisdom.