Throughout the mission in Honduras we had many “moments of grace.” These are those brief moments of revelation, when the Holy Spirit makes one truth beautifully clear. Sometimes that truth is about God’s heart and sometimes they are about our own—but all the times they are unexpected gifts from God. The timing of these moments are divine. They have come to me while I am parenting my children, praying in my office, driving my car, or even standing in the shower. This one came when I we were giving a single-mom a house.
On Friday, friends, family, and neighbors all gathered to dedicate the house to Jessica. We all had the opportunity to share any thoughts or reflections we had. Only a few of us shared before her pastor prayed. As the pastor of this team, I obviously felt compelled to speak not only for myself, but for our team, our church, and everyone who had contributed time, energy, and money to give this young woman a home
I told her that, less than year ago we didn’t know she existed and she had probably never heard of Damascus Road Church in Marysville, Washington. But now she does know us. And what she knew is that a group of people in another part of the world loved her unconditionally. More than that, having done nothing to earn our favor, those same people had come to give her something she probably could never have obtained alone. And as I spoke, what I said came to be shaped by one of these “moments of grace.” I told her that, though we had travelled a long way and worked hard to build her a house, WE hadn’t really given her anything. Everything we had, our time, our money, our abilities, our energy, even our very desires were a gift from Jesus. I told her that, truthfully, we had absolutely nothing to give in ourselves. We came to her because Jesus came to us. We loved her because Jesus loved us. We gave to her because Jesus gave himself for us.
As it is with all moments of grace, standing in the middle of a slum in Honduras, everything became clear. Though we may have looked like a group of Americans who had everything to give, I was reminded that it we were actually a broken group of sinners who have nothing in ourselves. All we have is from God. Everything we have, and everything we don’t have, is a gift from Him, by Him, for Him.