A Grateful Heart

Closer to the Door of Your Creator, and with a Grateful Heart
by Talia Rodriguez


The pastor is the head of the temple, the roof, protecting, the Pastora, the sanctuary, seeking growth, the pastor’s mother, the kitchen, she feeds, his father the furnace, he motivates, his elders, the walls of the temple, strong and sturdy, his children, the saints 😊, and of his family only the most deliberate servants, become the entry ways.

Rebecca “Becky” Hernandez is a door to the church of Hudson St Church in Buffalo New York, and I am greater for it.

Rebecca, represents forgiveness, the kind that confronts you when you open the door of a temple.

And women like Rebecca are needed everywhere. Because everyone, when they are facing fear in the darkness, seeking connection to a spirit of joint devotion and praise, and or shelter from self-doubt, knows of a place, a temple. And someone who may connect them to it, a door. Even, if it’s just, the one that you know shares a parking lot with your favorite coffee spot because you have spent hours of your life in that line… You know it’s there.

And why is that important? Because THAT confidence, that you have a place to seek spiritual refugee; to have a moment, in a space specifically designed, so that you may seek to reach the spiritual armor of deep reflection, THAT feeling of confidence, is what it means to be clothed in Christ.

And in those moments, of confidence when there IS a place you can go to seek the creator, the soul becomes calmer and the world grows more beautiful and less violent.

Like Mary, her impact is best be seen in the light of the eyes of her children when they talk about Christ and in their good works, they are her privilege, facing a changing world, they are her evolution.

God says of Biblical Rebecca: “Two nations are in your womb, two peoples are separating while still within you; But one will be stronger than the other, and the older will serve the younger. (Genesis 25:22-23)”

As you gather your family in thanksgiving, however you define the both, let our Rebecca, and her love for our creator, for her role as a woman, for her country, for her community, for compassion, bring you closer to the door of your creator, and with a grateful heart.

For us, woman, we inform the spirits of those who love, you and one thing Rebecca has re-taught me is, love begets love, and the world needs more right now.

Below she reflects on her motivation for organizing the 6th Annual toy drive where she is collecting new toys for all ages but focusing on the often hard to shop for ages of 8-18.

“My mom came from Moca, Puerto Rico in the 1970’s. She is 1 of 9 children raised by her mother in poverty. Her mother was widowed and raised them alone, not having much my grandmother raised them in love and sharing whatever little they had. My mother was the first to leave her home for a better life here in Buffalo and fell in love with my father and married him. He was a contributor to the community and was one of a large family as well. Although I was 11 when he passed, I remember him supporting many causes including donating blood to the American red cross which I later ended up working for. My parents were avid church goers and in their servitude to the lord they served the community both internally and externally. So as a child I was not only taught but shown to live in love and to care and help others. Struggles in life have also given me an appreciation of things, not only in receiving but in giving as well. For even in giving from the little we have we are impacting and making a difference in those who have less or are in need.”

Talia Rodriguez is a bi-racial, bi-cultural, and bi-lingual Latina from Buffalo. Ms. Rodriguez’s mission is to write about Latina’s, who have shaped the face of our city and our region. It is Ms. Rodriguez’s believes that our own people should inspire us and in telling our collective stories, we push our community forward. Ms. Rodriguez is a community advocate and organizer. She is a 5th generation West Sider, a graduate of SUNY Buffalo Law School, and an avid baseball fan. She lives on the West Side with her young son A.J… Ms. Rodriguez sits on the board of several organizations including the Belle Center, where she attended daycare. Ms. Rodriguez loves art, music, food, and her neighbors.

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