A few weeks ago I returned home from one of the most incredible experiences of my life—a month long internship with Open Eyes Ministries Nicaragua. Many people have asked me if I was ready to return back home after my time there. Yes… but no. Physically I was ready, but mentally and emotionally returning was completely different. I have been struggling with reentry shock the past few weeks. Many people feel as if I am being completely ridiculous about returning to the United States, but I do not blame them nor do I expect them to understand how I feel. In all reality, unless they have gone on a long term mission trip, they cannot understand. They cannot understand what it is to feel like a foreigner in your own country; as if the world around you is going 100 miles per hour and all I can do is stand there—paralyzed. Over the course of the past month since my return the reentry process is much better. I am adjusting back to life in the USA. Will I ever return to normal? After seeing God transform lives every day for a month, the normality I am seeking is something completely different now. God has given me a totally transformed perspective—one that sees people much deeper.
All of this leads me to the revelation I had while in Nicaragua. I want to see people through God’s eyes. Have you ever wondered what that would be like? What it would feel like to see someone through the eyes of God? Someone who views themselves as worthless? Maybe even society defines them with that label? Worthless. What is so amazing about all of this is that “worthless” not what they are. In the eyes of God, their label reads, “WORTHY OF MY LOVE”.
Just a little fun fact about myself, I have been to Nicaragua twice before this summer. Something I have always wanted to do while evangelizing is share God’s love with prostitutes. I am just drawn to the broken in general, and prostitutes are very broken people. I have no idea why I have had such a desire to show these people love, but one thing I do know is that Jesus loves them despite their brokenness. I want them to know that.
My second week in Nicaragua my evangelism team had the opportunity to share the gospel of Jesus Christ with prostitutes. We had no idea who in the family we were visiting was the prostitutes, but it was pretty easy to recognize their brokenness. No matter if they all were or not, God still loves them and they needed to know this. So my team began to talk with the two women in the house, a fourteen-year-old and a thirty-four-year-old. As we began to share the love of Christ, you could see their brokenness slowly fading away. We let them know that they are loved and viewed as worthy in the Father’s eyes. The eyes I began to see this women through. That day, the women society viewed as worthless trash, became beautiful masterpieces made by God. They began to see themselves as God did—worthy. I did not realize it at the time, but God was changing the way I viewed people. He was preparing me for a life-altering experience that would change me forever. That day, I began to see people deeper.
Later that week I had to the opportunity to speak one-on-one with an amazing woman. She worked with some organizations that feed children in certain areas two meals a day. This woman was so kind! She was doing such a good thing in her community. She was missing one thing, a relationship with Jesus Christ. I asked her, “Say you were to tragically die today. At the gates of heaven God asked you, ‘Why should I let you into my kingdom?’ How would you answer Him?” She said she had no idea what she would say. She began to tell me she accepts Jesus every day. To her, accepting him every day meant praying for His protection and blessing upon her life. She believed because she prayed regularly, she was a child of God. I explained that that is not the way to receive Christ. I explained His plan of salvation for her life. I asked her if she wanted to make Him her Lord and Savior. After a long pause, she did not accept Him. I was very curious as to why she hesitated before answering. She told me that she did not feel like she needed to do this today.
I was completely devastated by her rejection of Christ. I knew she was not rejecting me, but the things I was telling her. She thanked me for taking time to share His love with her. But that was it, she was rejecting God’s love, and that hurt me more than anything. Having personally experiencing this perfect love, I wanted her to as well. I wanted her to experience God’s mercy, and for grace to flood her soul just as it had mine. Her rejection of God’s gift made me physically hurt. I was devastated for her. I spent the majority of the day in tears over this woman and her salvation. We had seen many reject Christ, but she was the only one that I wept over. I couldn’t comprehend why. My translator that day, Jeyling, encouraged me. She said she knew God used me to plant a seed in that woman’s life. Now I just have to pray God send someone along to water that seed. I then began to realize what God was showing me through this experience. He gave me what I believe was a glimpse through His eyes. The eyes that are saddened by the rejection of His love, and also the eyes that see everyone human as worthy.
Lastly, I encourage you to go. Go in your neighborhood, your country, or wherever God leads you. Just go and love on people in the name of Jesus. Try to see people as God sees them. This is the greatest accomplishment you can ever achieve.
1 Corinthians 13:13 says, “And now these three remain: faith, hope, and love. But the greatest of these is love.”