These things I have spoken to you, that My joy may remain in you, and that your joy may be full. This is My commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one’s life for his friends. You are My friends if you do whatever I command you. John 15:11-14 (NKJV)
After this, Jesus, knowing that all things were now accomplished, that the Scripture might be fulfilled, said, “I thirst!” Now a vessel full of sour wine was sitting there; and they filled a sponge with sour wine, put it on hyssop, and put it to His mouth. So when Jesus had received the sour wine, He said, “It is finished!” And bowing His head, He gave up His spirit. Therefore, because it was the Preparation Day, that the bodies should not remain on the cross on the Sabbath (for that Sabbath was a high day), the Jews asked Pilate that their legs might be broken, and that they might be taken away. Then the soldiers came and broke the legs of the first and of the other who was crucified with Him. But when they came to Jesus and saw that He was already dead, they did not break His legs. But one of the soldiers pierced His side with a spear, and immediately blood and water came out. And he who has seen has testified, and his testimony is true; and he knows that he is telling the truth, so that you may believe. For these things were done that the Scripture should be fulfilled, “Not one of His bones shall be broken.” And again another Scripture says, “They shall look on Him whom they pierced.” John 19:28-31 (NKJV)
Upon my return from Guatemala, I left a quetzal, a Guatemalan bill of currency in my wallet. It is right on top of my American dollars and close to the front near my debit and credit cards. I see it every time I open my wallet and it reminds me to carefully consider whether the purchase I am about to make is really important. When your standard changes to become $30 equals one months worth of food for a starving child, a lot of things do not matter anymore. Over the time of Lent, I have eliminated all of my credit card debt and reduced the amount of money I spend for unnecessary items. Glass, books, horse supplies, fast food and clothes are no longer significant desires of mine. When I recall the faces of the children at the Malnutrition Center, I get what I need and no more. And I am constantly thinking of ways that I can not only save money, but acquire more. Not for my own comfort but to give away. I have been hard at work creating glass art to sell at an upcoming craft fair. Everything I sell will go towards the center. My goal is to raise $720 which will support two children for one year. That same weekend, I am hosting a tea at church. In celebration of Mother’s Day, I have asked all the attendees to bring supplies for the center. I hope not only to raise awareness of the center, but to interest other women in going. Those babies left to lie on mats and stroke each other’s hair are haunting me. Someone needs to rock and love them. Not only is my focus on the Malnutrition Center, but now that I am out from under the burden of debt and have some extra money to share, I am finding great joy in being able to slip some money or a gift card into the hands of someone who needs it. I am not telling you this to brag on myself, but to encourage you to reconsider your own lifestyle. A small sacrifice on our part can make a world of difference to someone else. Today, Good Friday marks the day of the greatest sacrifice, the day that Jesus gave His life to save me and you as well from our sins. We are all sinners destined to die and because sin and God cannot exist in the same place, we were condemned to spend eternity apart from Him. Until Jesus willingly suffered upon the cross, taking our place, and giving us the chance if we only believe to go to Heaven instead. In the face of that reality, how can I do any less than to give up some meaningless trinkets of this life in order to help others know how much God loves them and cares for them? When I love as God loved me, my joy is full. And my wallet, with one single quetzal, is, too.