Last weekend, I took a mother-daughter trip with my mom to the cities and we went to hear Heidi Baker speak at a conference. I have looked up to Heidi Baker for a long time as she has a heart for kids and a love for Jesus that challenges and encourages my faith daily! As she spoke, she reminded me of a story that I read in one of her books about what happens when we get out of the way and do what God wants us to do! Here is an excerpt of a television interview where she shared this story:
“Every Monday, in Mozambique, I visit my village. It’s just my local village, I like to keep it real – we have 3500 children in our school from there so I like to see their families. And I just sit and hold he poor, spending time loving them… And on my way back from visiting a mama named Tina, I saw this little, old woman. And she was really poor, you know, her clothes were shredded, and a strange thing was that she was sitting in the sun. And I thought: Why is this woman sitting in the sun in Mozambique? It’s hot! At least she should be in the shade. And I said ‘What’s your name?’ in our local dialect. And she answered me back and said: ‘I have no name.’ And I was undone by that. I thought, how can anyone on earth not be given a name? And I saw a woman sitting on the edge of a table away from her, and I said, ‘What is her name?’ And she said ‘She has no name, she is blind and she has no name.’ […]
So before I shared the beauty of Yeshua, the beauty of his love, I said, ‘Sweetheart, I would like to give you a name. And the name I want to give you is Utalia” – which is ‘joy’ and ‘you exist’. And she opens her mouth, and she has like four teeth that are dangling down, she is very old and her teeth are dangling, but she is laughing with joy. And I asked the other woman to call her by name, and she calls her Utalia, and she’s so happy. And I said that I believe that Jesus wants to heal your eyes, and there’s no cameras, there’s no razzmatazz, there’s no light, there’s no flyers. there’s just the poor and the love of God just sitting there. And I just hugged her and the mercy of God hit this woman and her eyes turned brown. It was so beautiful, so low and slow, the beauty of Jesus. […] They go white – grey – brown. She’s opening her eyes and looking around, she can see. The other lady could see that she could see. We’re just in the heat in this extraordinarily poor area, and the joy of the Lord hits her.
Then I told her about what Jesus did for her, and how Daddy God loves her and gives her a name, and how beautiful she is. And of course she met Jesus, how could she not? It’s that simple.”
At our conference she shared this story again and I wept as I had the first time I heard it. I wept not at just the fact that this woman had no name, not that she was blind, but that Heidi took the time to be amongst the people in her village, hearing their hurts and meeting their needs. I wept for disappointment in my own faith that calls us to the poor, hurting and broken and how busyness can overwhelm us to ineffectiveness. We are so busy “doing” so many things that we don’t have time to stop and share the life giving power that remains in us through Jesus Christ. I began to ask God to show me the people in my every day that need Him, I repented for being about my plan and not about being who He needs me to be.
Friends, we are the church. We are the hands and feet of the Holy Spirit in our community. Some of us are called to reach other nations, but we are ALL called to reach our own city, community and neighborhood. Let us remember those who are waiting to meet their heavenly Father and that we have everything we need inside us with the power of the Holy Spirit. May OUR eyes be opened, just like Utalia. May we realize who WE are in Christ and that our eyes would see those around us who are in need of a Savior.