Have you ever met someone and instantly felt a connection? He looked familiar for some reason – maybe reminded you of someone you know. Or you felt like you’d known her forever.
During my time in Haiti I encountered a woman that I instantly felt a strong connection to. In the village of Gelin, I met a woman – a wife, a mother, a grandmother – who reminded me so much of someone that I just couldn’t shake the feeling. I’d been to the village the previous day so maybe I’d seen her then, but the connection felt much stronger than that. I knew that she’d never ventured out of this remote part of Haiti and made it to West Virginia, so why did I feel like I knew this woman?
As I watched her cradle her sleeping granddaughter and sing praise to God, it hit me. This woman, this grandma, was truly no different than my grandma. As I stood watching this woman in admiration, I saw my grandmother’s face in hers. Sure you could speak all day on the differences between these two women, but on the inside – in their souls – they are the same. God has made each of them with the same purpose in life; to follow Him and to serve as an example to their families of how to do the same. They surely went through some vastly different experiences in their lives, but after all the trials and all the storms they are spiritually in the same place. They draw near to God. They worship God. And with all their hearts, they pray that their families will do the same.
Just as I’d learned that love is universal – I came to a very sudden realization that a mother’s love is universal. Even in one of the poorest places in the world, a mother’s love – a grandmother’s love – is still the same.
Looking into her expressive, brown eyes I discovered that maybe she and I weren’t all that different at all. Just like so many women I know here in the states, she loves her children and grandchildren and simply wants what’s best for them. But maybe she knows a little better than some of us do. In this place, that you can really only understand once you’ve been there, she knows that what’s truly best for those she loves is for them to love the Lord. In this place where the food and water are scarce and money is even harder to come by, she knows that the only way they can be certain their needs are met is by trusting Jesus.
Look at the birds of the air. They don’t plant or gather crops. They don’t put away crops in storerooms. But your Father who is in heaven feeds them. Aren’t you worth much more than they are?
What a beautiful picture it is when you meet someone who truly believes those words! Even though we traveled so many miles to help her, it was this woman that truly taught me a valuable lesson that day. And when I got back home, I hugged my grandma a little tighter because of it.