It was Summer 2012 in Hinche, Haiti, when a man walked into the kitchen on one hand and one leg, with one leg gone since birth. His fingers were deformed, with some fingers missing and some glued together. This man has lived his 46 years of life blind, deformed and malnourished. Doctors say he is a miracle child. Medicine says he was not supposed to live past his infancy. But God had another plan.
As Roberto walked in, he was radiant with joy, singing praises to his King. As he sat down to eat with us, he prayed for us. All day long, he sung praises to God. The hymns and Psalms he sung eclipsed his physical condition, but un-eclipsed his spiritual condition in Christ. He can’t read Scripture, so he listens to hymns and Bible readings on the radio, and sometimes his neighbor reads him his Bible. He says the reason for singing—second to worshiping the Lord—is so that those who don’t know the Gospel and the majesty of God in his village may hear it from his singing. He begs for a living because he can’t cook or take care of himself and rarely has someone come and help him.
His hut was in a small pitch-black jungle on the outskirts of town that required walking across a 10-foot deep canal on a shady wood plank and no lights. Standing there at the end of one day, I came to realize how attached I am to the world, scared to go “all-in” for Jesus, not fearing a holy God but fearing sinful men… but why?
Roberto embraced me with hugs and kisses as we said our good-byes. He told us not to worry about him because even though he has nothing, he has everything in Jesus. He endures with the hope of Christ returning or taking him home to be with Him for eternity. He smiled with the thought of his new body in heaven, and he sung in worship with the thought of an eternity with Christ.
Roberto’s physical condition displays the spiritual condition we all are in before God calls us. Blinded by sin. Deformed and crippled by the natural man. Dead in sin (Ephesians 2:1-10). But his life… his life reflects the new creation (2 Corinthians 5:17). The new creation we are made into when God takes our old heart, crushes it, and gives us a new one that longs for Him (Ezekiel 36:26-27).
My day with this blind beggar drove me to ask, “How can I bring the most glory to God? How can I make my life count? How do I stop wasting my life?” If the chief end of man is to bring glory to God (1 Chronicles 16:29), how do I go about doing this every day with my thoughts, words, desires and actions? Roberto gave me just a glimpse of how to do so – treasuring Him above all things, making others glad in Christ, pointing people towards Christ.
Are you making your life count?
Note: Roberto is now being fully funded by Haiti Endowment Fund. He has rides to a solid bible loving church and plugged into a men’s bible study group. He has someone care for him and food. He no longer has to beg! Praise the Lord!