I’ve had a very recent thought, one that excites me and also frightens me. It’s a conviction that will put me outside of my comfort zone more than anything else I’ve done this year, but it has been very prevalent in my thoughts and interactions in the past few days. The thought is this: I’m actually living here in Buenos Aires for something that’s bigger than myself.
Upon arriving in South America for the first time, there was an idea that was just pounded into our heads. We came into this year trained to think about all the different places we were going to see, all the new things we would experience, and how much we would change as people after a year in an unfamiliar place. All I thought about was me, myself, and I. Even traveling South America for 7 weeks, everything I did was for myself and no one else.
But I’m here for something bigger than myself. As much as I’ve discovered about God and myself, His plan for me has to be something bigger than just me. This conviction that I’ve had reaches further than my own selfish desires and even the people in our program. It reaches to the people of Buenos Aires.
Like I said, this idea is exciting but also frightening. It would mean reaching out to the people I see in the city every day, like the Chinese couple that does my laundry and works from 8:30am to 8:30pm seven days a week, having no time to do anything else but work and sleep. I think about the security guard in front of the Casa who works 16 hours a day to support his family even though he never gets to see them. Even my homestay family, who are too caught up in their own lives to care about much more outside of their own apartment, can use something more. So many people in this city are deeper than we can even imagine, and to get through just one street in Buenos Aires to hear everyone’s story would take a year in itself.
I’m not sure how this conviction will manifest itself from here on out, but it’s something that I have to actively address before it just goes away like free peanut butter at the Casa. It would probably mean sacrificing my time, energy, and pride for these people…but I know that the love of the Lord will provide them with a different hope than the fragile flow of cash they receive every week, and I’m sure it will provide me with something even greater.
When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, he will sit on his glorious throne. All the nations will be gathered before him, and he will separate the people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. He will put the sheep on his right and the goats on his left.
Then the King will say to those on his right, “Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world. For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.”
Then the righteous will answer him, “Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?”
The King will reply, “Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these my brothers, you did for me.”
Then he will say to those on his left, “Depart from me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. For I was hungry and you gave me nothing to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me nothing to drink, I was a stranger and you did not invite me in, I needed clothes and you did not clothe me, I was sick and in prison and you did not look after me.”
They also will answer, “Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or needing clothes or sick or in prison, and did not help you?”
He will reply, “Truly I tell you, whatever you did not do for one of the least of these, you did not do for me.” Then they will go away to eternal punishment, but the righteous to eternal life.