Español | I recently had the privilege of meeting three Dominican ladies that are truly blessed. I met them while I was tagging along with a group of seminarians from the Concordia Reformer Lutheran Seminary for their weekly pastoral visits in the barrio (an underprivileged neighborhood) of Pueblo Nuevo. Their names are Doña Ana, Doña Sylvia, and Señora Jinet.
Doña Ana, an eighty-two-year-old woman, long-time member of the Confessional Lutheran Church of Pueblo Nuevo, had just returned home from the hospital after a surgery in which they removed a part of her intestines. She sat with a small container to collect discharge from her body on her lap. Doña Sylvia, also a member of the congregation, is paralyzed from the waist down and will probably never walk again. She was laying in her bed, getting over a gripe (“a cold”). Señora Jinet, who is a student at a local university, made her way to the front door with a walking stick. She introduced herself to the English speakers in our group as a “blind people.”
Maybe you wouldn’t choose the word “blessed” to describe these women. I don’t think most people would. Most people think that to be blessed is to have good health, a good house, a good education. According to the wisdom of the world, these ladies are anything but “blessed”.
During our visits, my good friend from Peru and seminarian, Elvis Carrera reminded these humble women what it is to be truly blessed. He opened his Bible and read the Psalm appointed for two Sundays ago, Psalm 32:
Blessed is the one whose transgression is forgiven, whose sin is covered. Blessed is the man against whom the LORD counts no iniquity, and in whose spirit, there is no deceit. – Psalm 32:1-2
Seminarian Elvis reminded these ladies of how truly blessed they are because of their faith in Jesus. He comforted them with the good news that although they may not have physical health or material wealth, they do have the forgiveness of their sins, and where there is forgiveness of sins, there is life and salvation. Because the Christian’s sins have been freely and fully forgiven by the shed blood of Jesus, we are able to “be glad in the LORD, and rejoice” even in the midst of the most terrible circumstances.
Although the world might not recognize it, these three Dominican ladies I was privileged to meet are truly blessed, and thanks be to God, I too, was truly blessed to be able to meet them and be encouraged by their faith.