Saturday, December 24, 2011

Maids In Hong Kong

This is the view out of my parents' kitchen window in Hong Kong.  As I was washing the dishes, I looked out the window and saw an ama washing dishes a few apartments down across from me.  In Hong Kong, house maids are called amas.  They are normally Filipina and are married.  They live with their employers and they get one day off a week - Sunday.  Today.  Christmas.

It's a small comfort for me that they get Christmas off, but why is this woman washing dishes with me?  I keep wondering what she's thinking.  Filipinos are mainly Roman Catholic, a legacy left by the Spanish.  Does she miss her family today, back in the Philippines?  Does she miss her children?  When was the last time they saw her?  Whose dishes is she washing and does she wish that she was washing her own?

I've been thinking about Jesus too.  Jesus and this woman washing dishes across from me.  A small baby who will one day pick up the scroll and declare good news for the poor and say that the fulfillment of the prophecy is at hand.  What does this mean for her?  What does it mean for us?

He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted,
   to proclaim freedom for the captives
   and release from darkness for the prisoners,[a]
2 to proclaim the year of the LORD’s favor
   and the day of vengeance of our God,
to comfort all who mourn,
 3 and provide for those who grieve in Zion—
to bestow on them a crown of beauty
   instead of ashes,
the oil of joy
   instead of mourning,
and a garment of praise
   instead of a spirit of despair.
They will be called oaks of righteousness,
   a planting of the LORD
   for the display of his splendor.
-Isaiah 61:1-3

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