I heard the familiar “tink, tink, tink” of a key or a ring or something being tapped on our front gate, the Costa Rica version of someone ringing your doorbell. It was after dark, and I had already pulled my hair up into a ponytail and ditched the bra for the night. So I told El Chupacabra there was someone at the door for him so he could deal with it and I wouldn’t have to.
I peaked down through the slats on the upstairs bathroom window, and I couldn’t see the guy’s face, but I could see that he had a crappy, dirty, ripped up shirt on, and filthy pants over gunky shoes.
I was annoyed. I thought, “Oh - Of course we have a bum on our doorstep! Go ask the Gringos - Gringos are suckers! They’ll give you money for your stupid, made-up, sob story! They’ll be good for a few colones - at least enough for you to get your next fix! ….How did this guy get past our guards?!”
El Chupacabra didn’t come back in right away, he just kept talking with the guy, and while he did, I got more and more irritated. At some point, I turned my harsh inner dialog toward God. “You know, God – we’re barely making it here. We really can’t afford to have every homeless junky in a 5-mile radius hitting us up for money and food and clothes. I don’t want these guys on our doorstep. We’re giving all the time and all the money we’ve got. Please, God, please let us keep our home to ourselves. Give us this one place, where we can lay down in the evening and not worry about who’s standing at the gate – give us this one safe place.”
I know that sounds bad. I know it does. It’s selfish. It’s rude. It’s entitled. But we’ve already had our house robbed and our car stolen. We’ve already blown through our savings, and then some, to be here. We’ve exhausted our resources. And I really don’t want to be a selfish asshole, but sometimes I just...am.
“Welp, what did he want - money?” By the time my husband came back in I was in full-on-snotty-bitch-mode.
As it turns out, he’s not a bum. He’s a construction worker living at the new project that’s going up two houses down from ours. He’s also a brand new Christian. He said he was going to be staying in our neighborhood for the next 6 months, and he was worried about being away from church for so long. He mentioned this to our guards and they told him to talk to us. He said he’d been watching us come and go all week and he was just waiting for us to be home long enough for him to come introduce himself. He was wondering if we could tell him where there’s a local church he could go to while he’s in the area.
I felt like SUCH A TURD!!
The guy knocked on my door literally looking for Jesus...
Thank God he got El Chupacabra who pointed him in the right direction, and then invited him out for coffee to show him the way. Seriously. Thank God for that. Otherwise? That poor guy would have come face to face with the Very Worst Missionary. And that's not cool. Not cool at all.
I keep telling myself that someday I’m gonna get this right…
If someone came to your door looking for Jesus, who would they find? Trust me, it’s worth asking yourself.