You already know enough words. Just say them.

Give, and it will be given to you. Good measure, pressed down, shaken together, running over, will be put into your lap. For with the measure you use it will be measured back to you.
Luke 6:38

It was her smile...
...from day 1 in the small garage/church building in Ciudad Real.

But my Spanish was minimal. Her English was even less.
I didn’t have enough words.

I had tried back home in Alabama. Before we left for El Salvador...

  • I listened and repeated all 14 of my Pimsleur Spanish CDs. Twice.
  • I sung the 18 cantos de niños (songs for kids) from Rachael in Spanish over and over (much to my family’s chagrin).
  • I dug out Morgan’s old Spanish textbooks and reviewed the grammar.

And it still wasn’t enough. Not to my ears. Not from my mouth.
What did I have to give?

But I was underestimating.
Not me.
God.

In between the giving of the gift and the receiving of it,
God does special things.

In the gap, he works miracles.

So whenever I saw my special new friend, I was excited. She was too. We would smile and hug and I’d offer her my few words, “¿Cómo estás?”

What do you hand over anyway, when you think you don’t have enough?
Not enough energy. Not enough resources. Not enough love.

When you don’t have enough—and you probably don’t—
give anyway.

As the week went on, I still wasn’t catching her name. (I was amazed at how difficult it could be to understand even a spoken name.)

Until I wrote down my name. And handed her the crayon.
That communicated.
She wrote down her name too:
Mireya.Lisa_and_Mireya

I sat by Mireya at the gospel meeting in the new building on Saturday night. Afterwards I tried to get her address. She never fully understood (or else didn’t know her address), but wrote down pieces of it anyway.

And then came Sunday morning, my last day to see Mireya (the day I finally could roll my r’s a little better).

She came right up and handed me a piece of paper: her full address, handwritten just for me.

During the sermon, I wrote on paper of my own. A letter to Mireya. Mainly in English, with a few Spanish words thrown in—mi amiga, te amo, muy bonita, gracias. I gave it to her before she left for lunch.

But when she returned for afternoon VBS, her hands were full again. This time with a box. A bright yellow, decorated box, taped all around the edges.

She extended it to me. My hands went to my chest, the universal gesture of “For me?”

Sí.

I discovered a beautiful ceramic giraffe cup and saucer.
For me.
From my friend I could barely talk to, but with whom I could communicate prolifically, thanks to God filling in the gap in between.the_gift

I cried then.
I cry now
, thinking again of Mireya and her sweet gift of love that now sits on my dresser.

When we give anyway,
try anyway,
love anyway,
God delivers miracles.

It’s the way He works.

  • Don’t wait until your doctrine is airtight before you step out in faith.
  • Don’t wait until you have the perfect present before you give a piece of your heart.
  • Don’t wait until you have enough words before you speak love into someone’s life.

Do it now.
Do it anyway.
Because when you do, it won’t be enough.
It will be more than enough.

Gracias, Mireya.
Dios te bendiga. giraffe_cup_saucer

* * *

May I encourage you today to overcome the inertia to do nothing, to say nothing?

Put yourself out there a little more today. You know enough already to share God’s love with someone. Speak what you know.

Maybe in words. Maybe not. Maybe with a smile. Or a hug. Or a giraffe cup and saucer.

14 comments:

Kris said...

This was beautiful. May God give me the heart and remove the fear to put myself out thee a little more each day...


Thank you for this, Lisa. Bless you, friend.

Lisa notes... said...

I'm praying that prayer right now for both of us, Kris. It’s not always easy to take chances.

Remove the fear, Lord...

Patti Hanan said...

It is amazing how God gives back to us when we give. Thank you for sharing about your time with Mireya. It is so true that When we give anyway, try anyway, and love anyway,
God delivers miracles. Thank you!

Lisa notes... said...

Isn’t God wonderful? Not only does he transform the measly gifts we give into something to treasure, but he lets US receive a gift in the process. I’ve never understood how that works. One of his miracles to be sure.

I don’t know how long the memory of a lady from the United States will stay with Mireya, but I know the memory of Mireya will stay with me for a very long time.

Barbara H. said...

What a sweet gift. I wonder if it had been hers?

This is reminding me of something I heard somewhere -- seems like maybe Elisabeth Elliot or Amy Carmichael, I can't remember -- writing about giving to God what we have and trusting Him to multiply it as the loaves and fishes and make it enough.

Thanks for sharing.

Lisa notes... said...

The loaves and fishes. Yes, that’s exactly it, Barbara. We’re the little boy with a meager lunch—how could we possibly feed the hungry? We can’t, but God can. I’m glad he multiplies the gifts!

I wonder too if the giraffe cup/saucer was Mireya’s own…

Ginger said...

This is precious. Today I wrote about not speaking up when I should have. Thanks for reminding me again that He fills the gaps. Love your blog.

Lisa notes... said...

What you wrote on your blog, Ginger, fits in so well here.
"The more I know Him and rest in Him, the more I will risk for Him."

I’m adding the link here to your post:

Terrible, Horrible, Very Bad Day

elizabeth said...

I loved this story of your friendship with Mireya. Her gift to you brought tears to my eyes.

Lisa notes... said...

And the cool thing about having such a tangible gift is I can see it everyday to be reminded of God's mercy. And to be reminded to pray for Mireya and write her soon. God is good!

Connie@raise your eyes said...

Lisa, what an amazing, dear reminder!Just to be willing, to open our hearts,imperfections and all, and let Him fill in the gap.

Lisa notes... said...

Connie,
Opening our hearts is sometimes the hardest step, huh? Once we give God at least a crack of entry, he can use us much better. It reminds me of your Michelangelo quote from your blog about God seeing the angel inside:

“I saw an angel in the marble and I carved until I set it free.”

Rie said...

Lisa, I'm just catching up. I'm finally feeling like sitting at the computer for a little while.

What beautiful posts about your trip. I'm fighting being envious! I know it changed your life forever and I can see from the faces of the people there that Jesus - through you - brought them joy and changed them.

Just show love in whatever way you can. Thank you for that reminder.

Lisa notes... said...

Rie,
Glad to hear that you’re feeling somewhat better now. I’ve continued to pray for your healing. I have a friend about to go through something similar in a few weeks.

I know the ‘fighting envy’ feeling. Every year in the past when our short-term missions people would return home I would wish I could go sometimes. But this was the first year that it really felt right to do it, and all the circumstances lined up (so to speak…with my daughter getting married on Saturday, it’s made for a crammed-packed summer).

But I think one of the lessons from the trip is that whether here or there, we are always surrounded by people who need to see the love of Jesus. And like you said, we just do it in whatever way we can. I know you show it to those in your circle. You’ve shown love to me!

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