I’ve unintentionally taken a hiatus from blogging the past two months. Life got crazy and busy, but with that came plenty of stories that I intend to share with all of you. For starters, I’ll have you meet connie.
This past week, I went with my internship to the LA dream center. If you are unfamiliar with the dream center, it is this incredible ministry in Los Angeles that is centered around reaching out to the community and meeting the needs of the people. (For more info about them, click here.)
On Wednesday morning, my team and I hit the streets to pick up trash. Right as we were about to head out, a lady came running over to our group and said, “I’m here to volunteer. Is this the group that is going to pick up trash?” As soon as she knew she was in the right place, we all left. About five minutes into our expedition, I moved away from conversations with my fellow interns and began walking next to her. I was curious, and wanted to hear whatever it was she had to say.
(Just so you know a tad more about Connie, she lives in west L.A., and was born in the Philippines, but is Chinese. She took the week off from work so she could volunteer at the dream center, meanwhile her husband was in Nicaragua on a missions trip. As you can see from the picture, she also has one of the most beautiful smiles you’ve ever seen. She prays like she is going to war, and every word from her mouth is threaded with encouragement and love. She is amazing).
We skimmed past introductions then quickly dived into one of the best conversations I’ve ever had. The quality of it was so mesmerizing that I hardly remember the scenery that surrounded us. I could easily write a novel about all that we talked about, but I thought for this post I would just focus in on one page.
She began to talk to me about her family, which led into this incredible story:
“One of my brothers never believed in God. All of my other siblings over the years had come to know The Lord, but this brother in particular never wanted anything to do with Him. He would always make fun of me for believing in God and would mock me, saying things sarcastically like, ‘oh praise the Lord!’. But one day, I got a phone call from him and he said to me, “Connie! I had the most incredible dream! I was stuck in a house: It had no doors, no windows, no way out. I was trying so hard to find a way to get out and couldn’t. I was beating on the walls and pounding on the floor, trying to find some kind of opening, but the house wouldn’t budge. I didn’t know what else to do, so I shouted with everything in me, ‘JESUS!’ And the walls exploded open, tumbled down, and I was able to get out.” She continued, “He got saved from that dream.”
I sat there with my jaw dropped, the hair on my arms standing up, and wonder in my spirit. What an accurate picture of who Jesus is. There is nothing we bring to the table. Our best attempt at getting out of the “houses” that trap us in are futile, useless, hopeless, and quite frankly–pathetic. Our real escape route is always found in calling on the only name that has the ability to open up closed-in houses, break chains, create roads where there is no route in sight, and set free. It’s so simple, but we (at least I do this) tend to overcomplicate it and think that there is something we can add to the equation. But there is nothing. The equation has always been, and always will be: Jesus. All you need is the breath in your lungs, and the voice in your mouth to call out his name–everything else is on him.
I hope Connie’s story brings you freedom…I know it did for me.
“Remember, our message is not about ourselves; we’re proclaiming Jesus Christ, the Master. All we are is messengers, errand runners from Jesus for you. It started when God said, “Light up the darkness!” and our lives filled up with light as we saw and understood God in the face of Christ, all bright and beautiful.” 2 Corinthians 4: 5-6 [MSG]