A Resurrection Story

 I tried to pull up an Easter memory. I searched around the different rooms of my mind trying to find that beautiful memory to share and nothing leaped out. Que verguenza! Dicen por ahi that Easter is the most important holiday celebration for believers. How was it that I couldn’t come up with something for Sabado de gloria? Thank goodness it’s a day for reflection, remembering that day I was born again and all the years of my salvation. Ahora si, I can tell you about a glorious moment. An Easter story about my sister Lupe. 

Yesterday we remembered my sister on her birthday. Acuerdense, one of my rules for mourning, only sweet memories allowed on those days. Entonces, I got a text from my sis Marina early in the morning regarding our big sister, Maria Guadalupe Zepeda Sanchez, like a true Mexicana her name is long. Together we remembered our feisty strong big sister. Ya te imaginas, I am so thankful for time together here on earth, but more importantly my heart swelled with joy as I remembered the days of her own salvation and conversion. Although she left too soon and almost suddenly, I rejoice because  I will see her again one day. 

I remember those days, the conversations leading to the day Jesus touched her. Lupe called me one morning, I could hear the chuckle in her voice as she asked me what I thought about her applying to a Christian school for employment. I didn’t know what to think, she was not Protestant.  I honestly could not see the hand of God in this. Should I have been surprised when she called again? She was going to start her new job at the school as a teacher’s aide. From that point on, we started a new tradition, she called me every morning on her drive to work. In every conversation, first she asked about Thomas, my youngest son and her favorite. Then she had questions and comments about her job, her co-workers who were Christians and the teachings at chapel time. Her supervisor was friendly, she wondered why. The pastor was too nice, she didn’t trust him, she said, he wanted something. She wanted to know, “Tu eres asi?”  Did I practice my faith like the people in her job/school? At first I was offended at the comparisons, I thought I had been very open about my own radical conversion, and my love for God. Then I was afraid that maybe she did not see my faith in practice, hijole! Pero, unbeknownst to me God was moving behind the scenes of her life and quietly tugging at her heart. Aveces we forget that God does hear our prayers. 

My sister Lupe protected her heart really securely to avoid any more pain, she maintained a thick wall of pride to keep her safe. Her heart couldn’t handle anymore of the losses and anguish life brings at times. It really was a miracle that her and I were friends. I knew of some of her brokenness and I yearned and prayed for her to have what I had in Christ, forgiveness of my sin through the sacrifice on the cross. Y pues, God knew and saw and heard her too.

One spring day, she called in the afternoon. I had already had my morning talk with her, something was wrong. 

Me: Hello? Lupe que paso?

Lupe: Que? What do you mean? 

Me: Well you don’t call me when you’re going home usually.

Lupe: (She laughed a bit nervous) Ah si, Well something did happen. I am not sure what. I feel kind of strange.

Me: Are you ok? What happened?

Lupe: Well at chapel time, you know the little kids bible time? Well, somebody touched me. 

Me: Que?!

Lupe: Esperate. Listen. So I was helping in chapel time, getting the children into their seats and then I stepped back to listen to the story. Usually, I’m too busy watching the kids to listen, but this time I was listening along with the children. While the girl was teaching about Jesus touching somebody. Rosie, a hand touched my shoulder and my whole body felt it, it was such a strange feeling, then just as suddenly I didn’t feel it, but I did. I was shocked! I turned all around me, the kids were all sitting down. It was the pastor! He had dared to touch me, I quickly went to check right outside, he couldn’t have gone very far. I couldn’t shake off that sense that something happened to me. I felt good, but nervous.

Me: Pero, que paso? Who touched you? Where was the Pastor?

Lupe: He wasn’t there and the director said she never left her office and it couldn’t have been the other teachers, they were busy in their classes. But I just can’t shake the feeling. I don’t want to shake it. I feel like something was lifted off me with that touch. It scared me too. 

Me: (Shock! Joy! I knew who had touched her and I laughed out loud) Lupe, it sounds like God touched you. It sounds like God met you in that little chapel with the kids.

Lupe: Tu Crees? I feel so weird.

Me: Like how? 

Lupe: Like I want to laugh and cry and all kinds of things. What am I going to tell Beto?

Me: Wow Lupe, Jesus has touched you. Let’s see what happens now. Let’s pray.

We prayed that afternoon and we cried and I won’t lie, we were both nervous about what would happen next. She told me later that my brother in law didn’t know how to respond to her countenance. He knew she was different but she didn’t tell him. She started going to church with her supervisor, the director at the school and she also went to our fellowship church in El Centro.  In those few months that followed, she was letting God heal her heart, she was forgiving those who had trespassed against her as she had been forgiven. Que glorioso, to see my tough big sister so joyful and sweet. She was loving her family, family grievances were dissipating. We were all seeing the changes, but she hadn’t told them directly what change had come over her, she said she was a little afraid because she couldn’t explain it. Pero that’s how miracles are verdad? You just can’t explain them sometimes.I did tell my other sisters though, those kinds of things can’t be completely squelched.  Nevertheless, in her heart she had peace and she was a new creation, old things had passed away, God was restoring her life. 

En conclusíon:

This is my glorious Easter memory. Gracias a Dios that he gave her sight to see the gift of salvation, and I am so glad that I was the one she shared that experience with. For about 8 months we enjoyed those morning talks. She was always ready with her “good morning sunshine” greeting as soon as I picked up the phone.  Life continued and hurts came and went, but now she had confidence that God wanted to help her work out the issues of life through his methods. She passed that year in December. Por supuesto that I didn’t understand. Porque Dios mio? I questioned many things and as I cried God comforted me and reminded me that I would see her again. 

Que Dios los bendiga en este Sabado de gloria y alegrense, Jesus has risen from the dead!


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