"Entra, la puerta está abierta...Quiero que inundes todo con tu presencia.” “Enter Jesus, the door is open. I want you to flood everything with your presence.” These words, sung frequently at Mass in the SOLT parish, Nuestra Señora del Refugio (Our Lady of Refuge), in Nuevo Laredo are a testament to many realities of life in this Mexican border city. Doors are open, and are being opened! There are three specific types of doors that I have been reflecting on - those of the homes, those of a clinic, and those of people’s hearts.
Doors to the Homes
Hardship, heat and humidity may thrive here in this city, but so does hospitality. Time after time I have witnessed families open their homes to the less fortunate, to elderly without family to care for them, or to the SOLT community for a meal. It is not unusual to leave a home with six tacos in your belly, and six more in your “to go” bag. Those whom you are trying to serve, serve you first with such tender warmth and a limitless outpouring. I am amazed by the way the people, especially within the parish, reflect Mary’s love in their generosity and openness of heart. Their generosity knows no boundaries, and is second nature to this culture.
Doors to a Clinic
El Cuerpo de Cristo Centro de Salud (Body of Christ Clinic) sits on the grounds of El Refugio parish. This small but mighty clinic, boasting an image of the Blessed Mother at the entrance, was closed at the beginning of the pandemic. The nine-room building is fully-stocked with resources, thanks to generous benefactors providing donations of supplies and medications over the years. But praise Jesus, the clinic is now open again and ready to serve the community! With the support of the SOLT community, our staff includes a dedicated psychologist named Brenda, and myself, the nurse. We provide free, or very affordable, services to anyone who walks through the clinic doors. Open daily except for Sundays, the clinic hours have been advertised to the parish, the members of the five SOLT chapels, and to the surrounding community.
It is incredible to witness the Lord’s faithfulness in providing for this clinic, and I am continuously in awe of the number of souls, ages 1-95, whom have placed their trust in our care. Following clinic hours, I make home visits to provide assessments and care for those suffering from various illnesses. These have been beautiful opportunities to encounter souls in a very personal way. Though I often feel unequipped for this mission, being a fairly young nurse with very small hands, the Lord is constantly proving that His are the capable hands at work. He will provide if we make ourselves a capacity for His love.
Doors of our hearts
More than any physical healing, how we so ache for spiritual wellness! Besides expanding my understanding of Hispanic culture, health and lifestyle, the Lord is reminding my soul of its need for His soothing ointment. When we create the time and space for prayer, the Divine Physician never fails to surface those areas that are in most need of His graces. Oftentimes it is painful, like cleaning a deep wound, and can be quite a long process, but the healing that He brings is always worth the initial sting that accompanies confrontation with our hurts and struggles. And how He desires to come! The Father is never disgusted by the foulness of our infections. Quite the opposite, those are the areas He is most attracted to, and desires to dive into if we allow Him!
So let us open the doors of our hearts to Jesus’ healing powers, that we may be free to love Christ made present behind every door, within every soul that we encounter. “Entra, la puerta está abierta.”
Jocelyn Kleinsmith, Missionary Volunteer in Nuevo Laredo, Mexico