Experience of “the One”.

by Ed Colina on November 23, 2014

 

7“Lord when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or ill or in prison and not minister to your needs?”

Today’s Gospel reading is, for me, the core teaching of Jesus.  How could I have missed this or ignored what is clearly the central theme of His preaching?  The poor, the hungry, the stranger, the sick are all vehicles to experience Jesus.  When did I see Jesus hungry, in prison, sick or as a stranger?  Apparently Jesus is not too concerned with the worthiness of the hungry ones, the sick ones or the strangers.  It is not about them being deserving of my help; really it is not even about them but about my capacity and my ability to follow Jesus’ command to love.  It is on that, and that alone that I am judged.  Did I love?  To ignore the needs of the sick is to miss an opportunity to love.  To fail to welcome the stranger with open arms is a missed opportunity to love and to love the One.

As a Christian, from a “Christian nation”, how can I be so blind to the Gospel I heard today?  I rationalize,

Maybe it isn’t THOSE sick ones or THOSE strangers I am to love.  Maybe I am not supposed to love THOSE, the ones who don’t act like me, look like me, speak like me; those who aren’t “nice” like me?  They haven’t deserved my love or apparently God’s. Of all my “brothers” they are surely “the least”.

But that isn’t Jesus’ command.  It is “Love one another” and especially, “Love your enemies.”  “Ed, you MUST love!” Who of us is deserving of love – each other’s or God’s? Who of us was not at one time “the stranger,” as we were reminded recently?

So I begin again today to love “the other”. It is in loving “the other” that I experience “the One”.

{ Comments on this entry are closed }

Back in Kenya

by Ed Colina on March 17, 2014

The trip back to Kenya was uneventful yet so tiring. I spent two days with friends in Brooklyn Heights before flying to Dubai (12 hours) and a 3 hour layover before the Nairobi flight for an additional 5 hour flight. Both legs of the journey were fine; I even had a seat in the front of the cabin for more legroom. It wasn’t exactly Business Class but it was nice to stretch my legs and smile at the crying baby next to me.

As usual I got in the wrong line at immigration in Nairobi. Every visit brings changes in the procedure and this time I waited in the line for those who had already purchased visas. So, another line and discussion with the Immigration lady about my length of stay. She quizzed me on what people and schools I would visit but I received my three months. Bags arrived – the last ones off the plane I am sure. I took a car to Hillcrest, my home where Ben had arrived hours before and had begun cleaning out the cobwebs and mopping up the considerable dirt and dust.

This is the start of the long rains and it had rained the night before, making the road to my place, through Jam City slum almost impassable. My host in New York had helped me purchase some packets of pre-made tuna salad and crackers, since I didn’t think Ben would bring food and I also knew the cooking gas was low or out. So Ben and I feasted on tuna salad crackers and mango juice for dinner. On Sunday we walked through Jam City mud to the market and bought food essentials and air time for phone and modem. I am all set. It was fun to hand out little gifts and donations I had brought, some from friends. Mwololo came on Sunday afternoon and I gave him his requests from the USA; DVDs from WWE wrestling and a book of Sunday Liturgical Readings.

hippo

Not one of our hippos - an imposter.

I have the day off today, Monday, so that I could clean, do some laundry and catch up with days of unread email. Tomorrow, weather permitting, Mwololo and I will meet formally to discuss our goals for this trip and what to do about current issues including a herd of hippos that are destroying crops in our area. On Friday, 6 hippos visited our neighbor’s farm, destroying the maize that was ready to be harvested. The farmer called KWS (Kenya Wildlife Service). On Saturday the KWS spent the day waiting out the hippos but with no luck. One would think that the KWS would know that hippos only appear at night. This same herd came to our farm weeks ago and trampled corn and beans but we dug a 1.5 x 1 meter trench (a moat) to slow them down. So far, so good.

So all is good in Kenya. The weather is fine, other than the rains which we are told will increase significantly this week. I am all smiles. Thanks! More later.

{ Comments on this entry are closed }

Rain and Food, Childbirth, Home

December 13, 2013

RAIN AND FOOD Due to poor planning on my part, I have been eating Raman for lunch and using the remaining spicy water to cook rice in the evening. I have been stuck here at the house for a couple of days due to heavy rains that have closed access through the slums down the […]

Read the full article →

The Price of a Sewing Machine

November 21, 2013

You may have read about the international outcry over the gang rape of a young girl in western Kenya. After being assaulted, she was thrown in a pit latrine. She is on a slow road to physically recovering through some reparative surgery from the rape as well as back surgery. The men who perpetrated this […]

Read the full article →

Kakuma – Part 2

November 18, 2013

There is always something that touches me when I travel to Turkana. Maybe that is why, even though the trip is difficult, I look forward to it and encourage Benson to take me with him. It is selfish really. As I go deeper into the pain and poverty of people here in Kenya, I am […]

Read the full article →

Kakuma – Part 1

November 17, 2013

This will make the fourth trip I have made to Turkana. This is the home of my friend Benson’s family and the place where he grew up. His town of Kakuma is the host community to Kakuma Refugee Camp. It sits near the border of Sudan and Kenya and is host to thousands of refugees […]

Read the full article →

Poor Brothers of God

October 29, 2013

I keep returning to Merton’s words these last few days. His words give me some peace as well as a desire to follow God with all my heart and soul. Before entering the monastery, Merton writes this of the monks he sees: “They were poor, they had nothing, and therefore they were free and possessed […]

Read the full article →

Where your treasure is . . .

October 27, 2013

“Do not be afraid any longer, little flock, for your Father is pleased to give you the kingdom. Sell your belongings and give alms. Provide money bags for yourselves that do not wear out, an inexhaustible treasure in heaven that no thief can reach nor moth destroy. For where your treasure is, there also will […]

Read the full article →

Mbithi and My Blog

October 24, 2013

On January 17th 2007 I wrote my first blog entry initiating this adventure to Africa. It went something like this: “Beginning in the summer of 2006, Chris and I traveled all over Italy and parts of Switzerland (Chris thinks it was Sweden) and it was during that time that maybe God found an opening. Funny […]

Read the full article →

Holy Week

March 28, 2013

Take and eat; take and drink. He gives everything away, broken and shared. This is the great shift where, as my friend Richard shares: “Christ reverses the parabola, from the upward movement preferred by humans to the downward movement preferred by Jesus. Down, down, down into the enfleshment of creation, into humanity’s depths and sadness, […]

Read the full article →