We now have been back in Moldova for nearly a month and we have settled back into life in a foreign country. Over the last few weeks I have watched the people; especially the elderly people. So much that they have become heavy on my heart. Seems as if there are more elderly here than there were before. I know that is not the case but maybe I have become so comfortable with life like everyone else and I just did not see them or maybe returning to the states for the first time without a grandmother to greet you, because she had passed away. Or even maybe the Lord has laid the elderly on my heart at this time. I just know I feel a pull in my heart for them and their well-being.
As the days continue to pass it seems they appear on every corner throughout the city and in the village. Then two Sundays ago we were at church in Panasesti when a brother came to me and said, “Kelly let me tell you about this elderly lady we have been ministering too”. He began to tell me her story, her name is Liuba, she is 82 years old and has lived a hard life. She even still works each day, she has responsibilities to complete for others and even makes sure the animals have food to eat. As I looked at the pictures of her I immediately thought that this lady represented the elderly of Moldova, she was the perfect example. She had aged before her time, her hands and face were weathered by the years of suffering, hard work, and poverty but her body also reflected the scars of her heart. There is a photo where she is going to collect wood for the day, and another where she is gathering food for the goats and sheep, just doing what she had to do to live. I do not think many would do what she does each day or would have over the last eighty years. She is covered, battered and beaten both emotionally and physically with the scars to prove it. She continues on each day in order to live, without much family and the ones she does have are drunks. She does not know she can have peace in her life, or that the scars can be healed; for she has never heard the Good News about the one who died for us with scars I have grown to love.
Then I begin to think more, even if you took the everyday scars away from her she would still be filled with scars as she journeyed through life. Being 82 years old, she lived through some events that many us did not nor did we experience. She was born in 1937, the year Amelia Earhart crashed somewhere over the Pacific, the Hindenburg exploded and the Japanese invaded China. As she grew in age so did the scars, she saw the beginning of World War 2 unfold and even come to her home land in battle as the Jews were taken away by Hitler. She lived through the Holocaust and the end of World War 2 where the Soviet Union controlled Moldova for the years to come. She also lived through and saw her old home land gain its independence in 1991. She may have heard or seen about the first man on the moon and about the fall of the Berlin wall but she was still living each day in poverty and life was hard. She may have had food, a job and a house but spiritually the scars were deep and she did not know about God.
God sent His Son to die for us so we could have everlasting life, in doing so Jesus was left with the permanent scars as a reminder of what He did for us. The scars we live with are just the same as the one’s Liuba lives with. Jesus dying on the cross for our sins covers all of our scars with His blood. These scars can be taken away and forgotten no matter what you did or experienced in life, Jesus is your savior and He has the scars to prove it. These scars I have grown to love, they remind me of the pain He suffered for us but without these scars we would never know who Jesus was nor know the love in His heart.
But he was pierced for our transgressions,
he was crushed for our iniquities;
the punishment that brought us peace was on him,
and by his wounds we are healed.
Isaiah 53: 5 NIV
Take a moment and listen to this song called Scars by I Am They (play Scars). Just really listen to the words, you will be impacted, The Gospel is the truth and I have never looked at it this way, who would have thought we should be thankful for the scars. Please do pray for Liuba and all the elderly across Moldova that they too will hear the Gospel and be thankful for the scars no matter what scars they live with each day. Pray they hear the truth.