Pain with Skin

Last night on our prayer walk, we stopped by the home of Luz (which means “Light”). Luz is a 94 year old woman who has been bedridden for 5 years. Her daughter takes care of her. 15 people live in this 3 room house. Our “6:8” Pastor Spencer explained to us that this woman is in constant pain and suffers from various ailments. Like the previous Celebration Missions Teams, Luz’s daughter invited us in to pray for Luz.

As we all huddled around her sad bed, we were persuaded to pray for her to peacefully go into the arms of Jesus. That may sound unsettling at first, but you see, she suffers so much. I’m asking myself, why doesn’t God take her? Why doesn’t he bring her home to Him? Why does He let her continue to suffer like this?

We know that God has a plan and a purpose for each of our lives. Not just in our “prime”, but every day of our life. He doesn’t take us home until all of our work is done here. God is never early and He’s never late. Yet, I can’t understand why He allows her to needlessly suffer like this. This precious woman, who was once a vibrant, active, laughing, loving woman, was now incoherent (to us) and only intermittently aware of her surroundings. Seemingly there was no life in her yet she wasn’t dead.

I considered that it may be to allow team after team of missionaries to come and pray over her, to allow each missionary to experience “pain with skin”. I mean real, tangible, human suffering within a Sister in Christ. We humans sometimes don’t “get it” until we actually touch something in its most indisputable form. While we were praying for her, I touched her hair and I could feel God’s love for this beautiful child of God. It brought to mind the lyric, “Break my heart for what breaks yours”.

This sort of experience will truly brand your heart with the consequences of these words. Something I could not have learned at home. I had to come to Costa Rica to discover this.

Elisa Malo


~ by Celebration Missions on May 24, 2008.

2 Responses to “Pain with Skin”

  1. This is awesome Elisa! It is very hard to understand why God doesn’t take her home. But as you said, God has a purpose for everyone and everything. We may not know the purpose on this side of Glory, but God knows. And this lady – His child – is still running her race in His strength, not her own. Profound indeed! I love you and Kent and I can’t wait to see you.

    To love God is to obey God.

  2. Elisa,

    I too noticed the suffering when I was on my missions trip to Inagua several years ago. Abject poverty, people with little or nothing, yet happy as they can be.

    God has to use people like Luz to break our hearts because He sometimes can’t break through our pride to do it on His own. You see we can ignore the promptings of the Holy Spirit as ‘that prompting wasn’t from God’, but when you see someone suffering with your own eyes, you can’t ignore it. Actually it smacks you right in the face !

    I think the reason God allows it is to make maximum impact on us spoiled Americans who take everything for granted. If we have a headache, we go to the cabinet for aspirin. If we need a doctor, we just get in our cars and drive there and complain about the traffic or our couple hour wait.

    We have access to so much and are so wasteful that it’s a sin. I’m really proud of you and Kent for going- I know I haven’t been the same since my trip a few years ago !

    Love in Christ

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