My plate was piled high with a heap of rice and beans adorned with a plump chicken leg on top. This was a meal I actually like just fine though not my usual. I’m a pretty healthy eater, but on this day I wasn’t sure I’d be able to hold the entire amount of food served on my plate. It was delicious to taste and I quite enjoyed every bite, but seriously I was full at halfway.
Last week, I sat across the table from the thinnest, sweetest Haitian sister you’d ever hope to meet. I was given the opportunity to go and minister to almost 30 Haitian Pastors’ Wives by serving them at their first ever conference. I feel ultra blessed to have been given such an amazing opportunity!
As we continued to share a wonderful lunch together I became very aware of the excess food on my plate and I had no idea what to do with the portion I could not eat. I was so full! I knew for sure it was NOT going to be wasted though! Do I offer a little of my leftovers to everyone at my table so it seems fair? Do I offer it to the two ladies seated closest to me on my end of the table? If I offer it to one or two will it appear I’m playing favorites? I silently prayed and asked God to help me know what to do. In just a few moments, my sister, Edithe kept eyeballing my chicken and eventually pointed to the leg I’d barely touched. I locked eyes with her and nodded my head in the form of a question as if to ask if she wanted my chicken leg. With a huge grin, she reached out and grabbed my leg (well, my chicken leg) and immediately wrapped it in a napkin and placed it inside her purse. I felt time stand still for a brief moment. What had I just witnessed? I was told these women often eat every other day because they want to be certain their children get to eat at least one meal each day. Was this chicken leg going to be the one meal her children would share on this given day? I held my breath so not to break out in a full on sob. This moved me in ways I’ve never, y’all. I began to love this woman from a place of such deep compassion almost instantaneously. I can’t even explain what I began feeling as I was able to share such a filling meal with this precious small group of ladies that go to bed most nights with a growl in their tummy from hunger.
I spent the next few days reflecting on this experience. In fact, I’m home with plenty of food all around me and I’m still finding myself trying to dissect how it must feel to literally cry out to God in prayer to provide my next meal. In doing so I’m continually reminded of what God’s word says in Matthew 4:4
Jesus answered, “It is written: ‘Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.'”
I’m convinced the lovely Haitian women God placed in my path were not depending on the bread alone to sustain their lives. They were truly depending on every word that comes from the mouth of God for sustenance one simply cannot explain.
My Haitian sisters are rich in the Lord and have so much to offer that we can learn from. I felt such a presence of the Holy Spirit as I brushed elbows with such wonderful Christian ladies for three days. Our needs look radically different, but we need each other and that my friends, is a beautiful picture of God’s Kingdom! These women have nothing yet worship God as though they have everything through faith!
Lord, I lift my Haitian sisters up to you and ask that you continue to provide their daily bread. Fill their bellies and their children’s bellies with life giving nutrients that come from your hands. Please bless their lives in abundant ways. Help guide our hearts to know how you would desire to use us to minister to the needs of our brothers and sisters in Christ who are located in some of the poorest locations of our globe. Help us be ready to say, yes Lord send me! Amen.