The dampness of the Argentina winter seemed especially troublesome this year to her tired, old bones. Abuelita Maria shuffled around her little house, dressing with care. Tonight her church would host a group of teens who had traveled from the great churches of America. Even though Abuelita Maria was three times the age of many of the American youths, she could hardly wait to hear them sing and worship God.
Placing a scarf around her neck, she was about to leave when she remembered her blue gloves. They were the only store-bought article of clothing in her possession. Many years had passed since the day her husband had given them to her and he had since gone on to be with Jesus. However, while the blue gloves might have grown old, to Abuelita Maria, they were still beautiful. Now, she only wore them on special occasions and thinking of tonight’s service, she smiled. Slipping her hands into the soft folds of the blue gloves, she tightened her coat and slipped out into the cold, Argentina night.
On the other side of the city, emerging from one of Beunos Aires more opulent hotels, Emma Jefferson walked with her missions group to the tour bus. Whew… it was cold. When the missionary had admonished them to bring warm clothing, Emma had scoffed. Now, she wished she had heeded the missionaries warning. Thinking this, she boarded the bus and soon they were on their way.
Upon their arrival, Emma grimaced when she noticed the muddy sidewalk leading up to the church. She realized her fashionable stilettos had probably been the wrong choice for the evening. Once inside, she expected to receive some respite from the cold, but looking up – she realized the church had no roof. Her shock was quickly replaced with gratefulness when someone offered her a cup of steaming mate, which she sipped appreciatively.
Before long, the service began with Emma’s group singing several American choruses. After some time, Emma’s leader began to sing, “How Great is Our God”. However, he deviated from the English version and instead sang it in the Spanish dialect.
Cuan grande es mi Dios (How great is our God)
Ven y adora (Sing with me)
al Dios de poder (How great is our God)
Veremos hoy (All will see)
Cuan grande, cuan gran...de es mi Dios (How great, how great is our God)
As Emma watched the Argentineans respond to the simple chorus, she realized the sincere worship of the congregation was noticeably affecting the missions group. One by one, the teens stepped from the platform and joined hands with members from the congregation. Following their lead, Emma joined hands with a little grandmother who was sitting on the front row. Tears were falling from the grandmother’s eyes as she sang the words, “Cuan grande es mi Dios.” It wasn’t long until Emma’s tears were falling as well and soon the starry night reverberated with the song, “How Great is Our God.”
After the service, Emma hugged the little grandmother and with the knowledge she couldn’t understand English, whispered, “Thank you for praying with me.”
The little grandmother took hold of Emma’s hand and held it tightly. In that moment, a worried look crossed the elderly lady’s face. “Tienes frío!,” she said. Before Emma knew what the little grandmother was doing, she had taken off a pair of blue gloves and thrust them into Emma’s hands. “Regalo para ti,” she said. Then smiling, she patted Emma’s cheek and walked away.
Holding the blue gloves close to her heart, Emma began to weep. These gloves were probably the most valuable possessions the little grandmother owned - yet, she had given them away.
Emma had joined the mission’s group hoping to minister to the people of Argentina. She never would have believed she would be the one ministered to the most. The little grandmother had done more than just give Emma a pair of blue gloves. Instead, she had shown Emma a glimpse of the love of Jesus. In that moment, as she clutched the blue gloves, Emma realized God’s powerful love crosses all language barriers and resides within the hearts of everyone who truly loves Him.
Emma kept the blue gloves all of her life and never forgot the lesson of love she learned from the little Argentinean grandmother who had given them to her.
Abuelita: Little Grandmother
Mate: Argentinean Tea
Regalo para ti: Gift for you
Tienes frío: You are cold
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