The third and last 2011 Orientation Program for American volunteers going on a mission abroad has just been held in our Brooklyn Center. Lisa M., leaving for Manila this very week, shared the beauty she experienced in these words:
My heart and thoughts continually come back to Susan, an elderly woman who lives in Brooklyn and is confined to her bed. I was given the special gift and honor of visiting her with Melanie last week. As I entered the apartment, everything seemed as though it was hanging on and could break at any moment. There were boxes, clothes, and random objects everywhere. The walls were torn and very unpleasant to look at. There were wires everywhere and this looked like a place no one would want to call home. At the end of the hall stood a bed with a very frail lady lying on it. She looked so very worn out and I could not believe she lived in such a place. Almost in an instant she looked at us and the most beautiful smile appeared on her face! She was so happy to have visitors and kept saying she loved her friends. Then she said something that stuck my heart in a very special way. Susan said “I love you because you love me! I know you love me. I pray for you always, everyday.” She kept repeating this throughout the entire visit.
Then we began communion service and again I could not believe the love and joy Susan showed as she sang “Amazing Grace”. What a voice, so full of love for her Lord! During communion right after Susan took Jesus’ body into herself, we were all quiet. I looked at this woman’s face and she appeared to be in complete contemplation. As if she was truly speaking with Christ and time had somehow stopped.
The more I think of that moment, the more the word beauty enters my mind. There is no other way to describe this encounter! To think that love can step into a place that would appear repulsive or unattractive and make it a place where one wishes they could stay forever is Beauty! Beauty can and will certainly save the world!