Posted by: comedyheirs | April 23, 2019

Remembering Tom

Please enjoy this guest post by my husband, Steve Rockhill, reflecting on his oldest brother’s life. I didn’t include the photo he refers to in the opening lines. A thoughtful piece on the trials that God brings into our lives and how to maintain a proper perspective:

This is my brother Tom’s HS Senior pic. As you can see his birthday and the anniversary of his death are only two days apart so I’ve been thinking about him a lot for the past week. If you’ll forgive the long post, I’d like to share some of what I’ve been pondering. As far as I know Tom started smoking marijuana when he was 14 or 15. I don’t know how soon after, but he quickly added alcohol and speed to the mix (and later cocaine and just about anything else he could get his hands on) in search of the ever elusive greater and greater high. Usage led to crime, crime led to arrests, and arrests led to stints in rehab and jail. A cycle that would repeat itself over and over for 18 long years. The pain, suffering and heartache this brought to my family, especially my parents, was immense. The worst of which came two days after Tom’s 33rd birthday when his lifestyle of addiction and sin finally caught up with him and he died and we were left to grieve as those who had no hope for his eternal rest. Such a troubled life. AND YET, my brother Tom stands as one of the greatest influences in my life. In God’s sovereign purpose, for reasons I still don’t fully understand, God used Tom’s addiction and sin to lead ME to Christ. He used Tom to teach me how to forgive others and especially how to let go of hatred and bitterness and put on love and kindness; to be compassionate toward the needy and outcast; to be more understanding of those who struggle with addiction and habitual sins. It was largely because of Tom that I pursued a career in social work and counseling and ultimately the ministry. It was because of Tom that I was well equipped to minister to those suffering grief and loss. God used Tom and his troubled life to help form and fashion who I am. And that’s how it is sometimes. In the midst of trial and tragedy it’s hard to imagine God could use any of it for good. We may not see it right away or at all in this life; but God is able to raise up from the ash heap of sin, sorrow, and pain something good for those who love Him and have been called according to His purpose. Again, I don’t fully understand it, but God’s promises are true.

“And we know that God works all things together for good to those who love Him, to those who are called according to His purpose.” (Romans 8:28)

Soli Deo Gloria.

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Posted by: comedyheirs | April 13, 2019

Happy Times Call For Hospitable Measures

When the Dennis family informed us that they were seriously considering a move to Texas to help us with our church planting efforts, we were stunned and delighted. We prayed fervently that God would be pleased to open the way for this to become a reality. God answered, several times over, including the quick sale of their old home and the purchase of one here. Naturally, we couldn’t let something so momentous go uncelebrated, so this week we hosted an “open house” event, of sorts, to officially welcome  a family as delightful as they are eager to serve not only this local body, but the church worldwide.

We gathered chairs, set tables, designated people to bring different edibles, got the grill fired up and eagerly put the finishing touches on the preparations. You know how anticipation can render itself nearly palpable? It was as if you reached out with your finger and touched the excitement? You could feel the sizzle. When everyone arrived and the celebration got underway, it did not disappoint.

What food.
What festivities.
What freshness in the out of doors.

From the tantalizing aroma of stuff on the grill (one of the best things about moving to Texas is the nearly year-round unmistakable scent of barbecue) to all the yummy sides (someone in our church makes a delectable guacamole and her secret ingredient, apparently, is just a hint of maple syrup) to a whole passel of children just having fun in idyllic weather, we made some delightful memories.

While the adults chatted, sat and did the repast thing, the kiddos were more about downing their edibles between basketball games, playing king of the mountain, skateboarding and belting out (and I do mean loudly and reminiscent of youth retreats) campfire songs around our fire pit thingy (it’s a work in progress) while inhaling s’mores.

As dark descended, it actually got chilly and We the Elderly headed inside for a fresh round of coffee. There’s really no happier sound than the constant slamming of both front and back doors as a testimony to the unending stream of the busyness of human traffic. It seemed to me that our guests left happy, relaxed and open to a return invitation. I know I’m still smiling and I’m reminded of a couple of things.

True hospitality isn’t about
an impeccable house,
a perfectly executed menu or
inviting the “right” people.

It’s about
opening up your home,
dispensing your hugs and, sometimes,
wrapping your heart around those whose own has temporarily lost its bows and ribbons.
The result is having love lavished back, effusive, spilling pretty much everywhere, especially the crevices you wanted to forget were there and always a resounding affirmation of how rich you truly are.
I’m just sorry that the highly organized minimalist Marie Kondo couldn’t join us. Let me tell you, there was joy in such abundance sparking here that if she’d walked in the door, she’d have been so mesmerized by the arcing fireworks display, both indoors and out? She would have walked past my way-yonder-over-thirty book collection and never even noticed. She might have even exceeded her acceptable blink number to accommodate the information influx. If she’s ever looking for a slogan, I’ve got one for her:

Maria’s condo no es Marie’s Kondo.

Nope.

Not by a long shot.
Because this is a home that always has room for one more.

Soli Deo Gloria.

 

Posted by: comedyheirs | April 4, 2019

Why Coffee Lives Matter

Just having a little “Grandiloquent Word of the Day” fun this morning:

We’re All Ultracrepidarians Before That First Cuppa

When I ambulate in yawn
As my stride breaks with the dawn

Thoughts, in ramble, fill my brain
Vastly quanked is my terrain

Slowly, the obrubilate
Clears toward articulate

Someone’s horn blasts me aglifft
If you get my startled drift.

Prompt, I play the dorryphore
Nit and pick their faults galore

Gone my dinomania
I’m awake. Uprightia (Okay, that one’s a stretch)

Mind outpacing fast my feet
I imagine their defeat

Lay them prostrate on the slab
Now kicks in the splatherdab.

Do they honk at all who jog?
Did I seem to them, a frog?

Do they circumvent the law?
Can they “cole” or do they “slaw?”

Have they noses,, red and bulbous?
Do they hear, with lobes marotous?

Do they vote for quockerodgers?
Do they cheer for (gasp!) the Dodgers?

Are they churlish or refined?
Run these thoughts amok my mind.

Fast I slow as I near home
For I know that ‘neath that dome

Lives a jackanape whose pride
Cloaks her, cloyingly, like hide.

I’m the neighbor whose own horn
Likes to toot in early morn

Loves to blast it all day long
All of orgulus, my song

Endless verse and looped refrain.
I’m as toneless as I’m vain.

Ere you visit? I’m a’plunge
In a desperate scurryfunge.

For I know my tarnished sheen
Shows my house as far from clean.

That my mind is webbed with cob
That I reek of rank and snob.

Yet I plead a second chance
Please do not view me askance.

For I simply lack a cup
Of my caffeinated ‘sup.

Once I sip? My head’s aligned
Cleared of sleep and fog and blind.

NOW I see, through eyes of blue
Life in focus, tried and true

Please don’t judge me by the first
I plead, “daft” when quenched by thirst.

All those miles pre the dawn
Pound out prior to my “on.”

I, in truth, cannot deduce
Till I’ve had my cuppa juice.

Please come in and share a cup.
NOW I’m running. NOW I’m up.

Coffee bios all my dome.
Coffee straightens house to home.
I degust through prose and po’m.
(That’s Ingles’ for dissing foam).

Ultracrepidarian – a person who gives opinions and advice on matters they know little about.

Because, in the end, the answer is always, “coffee,” regardless of the original question.

Soli Deo Gloria.

Posted by: comedyheirs | February 28, 2019

When “Return to Sender” Seems So Stamped in Final

I can’t remember a time when I didn’t know Cathie (Schnupp) Gingrich. The fact that our fathers were introduced to each other in their college years, became friends and remain friends to this day has much to do with that. Our family and hers overlapped for the fourteen years my parents served as missionaries in Ontario, a province her parents still serve in to this day.

Cathie has four sisters, Judy, Sharon, Carolyn and Mary, their ages overlapping, sorta kinda, with my five siblings and I and while we only saw each other a couple of times a year, at most, the connection and camaraderie was instant. Because our family lived so far from our stateside extended family, we affectionately referred to the Schnupp family as our “Canadian cousins.” I’m not sure we ever told them that.

Cathie and her family traveled extensively in their missionary endeavors and after our family relocated to Kansas in 1975, they would stop in periodically and visit us, their small aircraft taking them on countless adventures. I always felt privileged that they included us and never ceased to be impressed that Cathie and her sisters all learned to fly with their father’s encouragement. Oh, and did I mention that Mrs. Schnupp (her name’s actually Clara but I simply can’t get out of title of respect mode when addressing her. She’s a true lady) learned to fly as well? There are so many things I admire about this family and taking to the skies is one of them.

As life went on, I ended up back in Canada, working under the mission organization, Northern Youth Programs, that Mr. Schnupp was hugely instrumental in founding. It was during that time that Cathie started a relationship with her future husband, Sam. I remember the way her eyes shone when she desribed this fine, godly gentleman that had caught her eye and (it was obvious to me, if not to her) was fast capturing her heart and for all the right reasons. Sam was and is a true and godly servant of the Lord Jesus Christ. I remember Cathie showing me her beautiful wedding dress in anticipation of her wedding day. She married her prince and life took us our separate ways.

The next time we met she had exciting news for me. She and Sam were going to be parents for the first time. I could not have been happier for her. Four more children came along in time and their family settled in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, as Sam began working in counseling ministry, something that continues to this day.

During these years, I married and started a family too. God blessed me with a quintet as well. He gave Cathie the same ratio He gave me-three boys and two girls. The thing that has always so  blessed me about Cathie’s approach to life is the sparkle in her eyes, her unforgettable laugh and her honesty in the face of whatever happens.

This past Monday, I received devastating news about her. Her second son, Ian, had been killed in a traffic accident the day before. She and Sam and their four surviving children will bury him tomorrow. I simply cannot form words to capture the depth of grief I’m processing for this tragedy and how it must be hitting Cathie and her family. They’re all serving the Lord so faithfully where He’s called them, truly some of Christ’s most beautifully selfless servants. I weep for Ian’s grandparents, Mr. and Mrs. Schnupp, as they bury a grandson. I am reminded, poignantly, of the unmitigated, unnatural curse death is in this fallen world.  But as I think and ponder and wish that Texas wasn’t so far from Pennsylvania? I am at peace because I know that Ian and I and they all share the same hope of A Savior.

A Savior Who took Ian home because his work on earth was complete.

A Savior Whose grace and mercy has been and will continue to pour over this precious family in the precise measure they need it as they grieve this monumental loss.

A Savior Whose ways are so much higher than ours.

It’s easy to forget that life is a gift from The Creator and that He does, indeed, possess the infinite power to put his “Return to Sender” stamp on each of us for reasons our finite minds cannot hope to begin to understand. No matter when it happens, it always feels “too soon” to us. We, so simultaneously bound by time and aching for eternity’s release from earthly sorrow, find our faith sorely tested when such losses hit home. Yet we know that God has a purpose in all things, to work them for good, even when everything around us screams otherwise.

I weep for Cathie and her family but I weep with hope, as do they.

Sure and certain.

And I cling, even as she does, to the God of all comfort.

The God Who will, in His own, perfect time, wipe away all of our tears.

Every.

Last.

One.

At last.

Even so, come, Lord Jesus.

Soli Deo Gloria.

 

 

 

Posted by: comedyheirs | February 27, 2019

Poultry in Biblical Proportions

Steve’s guest post on the recent excitement in our backyard.

Brace yourself for the deeply theological.

Oh, and enjoy.

For those familiar with the Bible, you know that it has its fair share of drama exposing every possible human emotion, positive character trait, and yes, especially, human character flaws and sin. These dramatic stories can be found throughout the Bible, both Old and New Testaments. Take the story of Jacob, for example. In Genesis 29 and 30 we have the story of Jacob and his wives, the two sisters Rachel and Leah. For the sake of time – I won’t recount the dramatic back story – you can read it for yourself. Needless to say Rachel was

younger,

more beautiful, and

more loved by Jacob, but in God’s providence, she was barren and couldn’t have any children. Leah on the other hand was a “fertile Myrtle” and gave birth to six sons and one daughter. As you can imagine there was much jealousy on Rachel’s part, reaching an angry, frustrated apex when she cries out to Jacob in Genesis 30:1 “Give me children, or else I die”. Plenty of drama, right?

Let’s apply this to the chicken world – though there are some differences of details including the fact that we don’t have a Jacob (i.e. no rooster – good thing too, I’d feel bad for him caught in the middle of this). As many of you know, yesterday one of our chickens, Sophie, laid her first egg. She was the first of our three chickens to do so. This was a bit surprising to us because we figured Rosemary, almost a month older, would be the first to lay. Apparently, that little detail wasn’t lost on Rosemary. After Sophie did her work in the nesting box yesterday – she quietly walked out of the coop and started her usual foraging scratch work. However, Rosemary, squawked like the dickens and caused such a stir I went outside to look because I thought a hawk might be close by – but no. Sophie and Dolly were going about their usual routine. It appeared as though Rosemary was taking credit for the egg like a jealous hen.

Fast forward to this morning and we’re anticipating another egg from Sophie. We notice however, that Rosemary has gone in the box.

And she sat.

And sat.

And sat some more. Meanwhile, you could tell that Sophie was ready to pop any moment as she fidgeted anxiously at the bottom of the ramp, waiting for Rosemary to clear out of the box. Eventually, Rosemary emerged with an extended squawk as if she was rejoicing and giving thanks, but when we excitedly checked the box, we were disappointed to find

nothing.

Nada.

Zip.

Not only that, but Rosemary was blocking the entrance to the box in an attempt to keep Sophie out, squawking loudly the whole time. Instead of rejoicing, I think she may have been squawking, “Give me an egg, or else I die!” We got them all out of the coop, and waited for Sophie to get back in. When she did, we closed the door so she could lay her egg in peace. With little fanfare or squawking she laid another beautiful light brown egg. Rosemary wasn’t too pleased with this arrangement however (i.e. being locked out) and she paced wildly around the coop like a hen scorned.

What was Dolly doing this whole time? She brought this drama a few thousand years into the future and, with seeming panic, darted back and forth across the yard from bushes to trees like Chicken Little yelling, “The sky is falling, the sky is falling!”

Update: Just as I was finishing typing this post it appears as though Rosemary has been blessed with her Joseph (multi-color coat and all – as an Easter Egger she laid a nice light green egg). See comments for pics. The drama’s over for now – but it looks like we may have to get a second nesting box since these chickens, much like humans in their natural sinful state, can’t seem to share. Even with all this drama though — #lifeisbetterwithchickens.#

Well, there you have it.

Pastors with good senses of humor are the best, aren’t they?

Something tells me all the eggs collected here are

Heretofore

Forthwith and

Forevermore

Decidedly prescrambled.

Soli Deo Gloria.

Posted by: comedyheirs | January 23, 2019

The Sound of Music

Because rain is my jam –

The Sound of Music

Tonight the rain’s a gentle sigh
Against a symphony of sky

Each drop a note, a splash of hue
That hangs suspended like the dew

With neither meter nor yet rhyme
It’s rhythm long in structured time

It switches beats. Torrential pours.
In splashed staccato at my doors.

The wind crescendos to a howl
Its moan the widest open vowel

Now lightning whips out its baton
He signals – Crack! – And then he’s gone

And right on cue, it tumbles in
A thunderous scattered rumbled din.

Like.drums with steady beat and slow
A tambourine or two, in tow

The concert waxes as it wanes
With its encircling refrains

Until at length, it’s simply spent
Played out, this canopied event

I see the grand finale loud
Voluminous, each emptied cloud

Now takes its leave across the sky
In spurts and sputters, like a cry

Regains composure by the shore
To pen his vast unwritten score
And comes again, in petrichor
And I am harmony once more.

Encore.
Encore
Encore
Encore.

Soli Deo Gloria.

Posted by: comedyheirs | January 12, 2019

Loss is Gain

It’s how our friendship works.

I text her.

She texts back.

We find a slot that’s free for both of us and set up a time to chat on the phone for, well, for awhile.

As soon as I hear her voice, warm in its comforting, gentle resonance, I feel the same twinge every time.

Sweet regret. The wishing that she didn’t live halfway across the country and I so seldom get to see her balanced with the gratitude for the wonders of modern communication doing much to ease the gap. Oh, and the fact that however long it’s been? She’s never offended or miffed and we just pick up where we left off.

We had a lovely, “Mom, what do you talk about for over an hour, anyway?” catching up session earlier this week and I was reminded again that the “sweet regret”  I felt is actually grief. It’s so common and basic to the human experience and yet we fight it, don’t we?  Tooth and nail, as it were, as if it were our worst enemy.

It is not.

It is our response to life’s losses, real and/or perceived.

It is also a gift.

Because there is no gain without loss.  Grief always catches us off guard, doesn’t it? We’re engaging in life to the full and all of a sudden, we’re confronted with a memory triggered by our present and we realize again that loss runs deeper than we ever imagined and can never be outrun no matter how fiercely we engage life.

Grief is our

finite,

disbelieving,

grasping attempt

to release

to comprehend

to reconcile An Infinite God’s rightful reclaiming of His gifts to us while we were still  immersed in unwrapping their layers

of mystery

of challenge and

of beauty.

Grief is the relentless ache of the chasmic wait between what temporarily was and what forever will be.

Grief is the arduous, exhausting task of assimilating the past into your present

one step,

one tear,

one memory at a time.

Grief is the price of love.

The deeper the love, the greater your grief.

It’s why the love of Our Savior is incalculable.

He lost everything,

gave everything

became nothing.

To give us hope unshakeable, no matter our losses, through The Gift that can never be taken from us.

No matter who.

No matter what.

No matter when.

No matter where.

No matter why.

You’ll never find a better Friend, a deeper source for joy or a greater comfort than The One Whose loss was your immeasurable gain.

Soli Deo Gloria.

 

 

Posted by: comedyheirs | December 26, 2018

Beast Mode

The weather’s settled-un today

With thunderstorms in tow, they say

 

Our chickens cluck, in seeming stride

This human hype on stuff outside

 

I love a sky in brooding wait

In restless, rumbled agitate

 

As though it can’t make up its mind

To bolt or trot or lag behind

 

It thunders west, it pummels east

Like some unmitigated beast

 

Is that it snoring in its lair

or pulling frantic at its hair?

 

There’s something sighing through the trees

Or do I simply hear the breeze?

 

Does it sport wings of glide and fly?

Those dark clouds scudding through the sky

Are those his footfalls padding by?

 

I see the sun peek through the clouds

Is that him winking at the crowds?

Is thunder when he laughs out louds?

 

The winds’ momentum steady grows

Do storms unfold in blow by blows

Or is he kicking up his toes?

 

The clouds begin, at last, to spurt,

To quench the thirst of plant and dirt

I breathe it in. It doesn’t hurt.

 

And then? The unleashed heavens pour

And pelt my house and wash my door

It’s like his middle name is, “More!”

 

Now plays itself out long and hard

this sopping deluge in my yard

Like knights avant en all their garde.

 

Of course it ends, as must each storm

However wild or grand in form

 

And acquiesce to calmer themes

Like sunshine’s gentle warming streams

 

That slowly dry the dripping wake

Because you’re right. Make no mistake.

 

That weather comes and weather goes

To where exactly? No one knows.

 

But each in order takes its turn

From freezing cold to scalding burn.

 

With rain and ice and snow and hail

It’s almost like he whips his tail.

 

Maybe the weather’s vast terrain

Is just a dragon you can’t train.

 

Soli Deo Gloria.

 

 

Posted by: comedyheirs | December 5, 2018

It’s A Blunderful Life

One of the perks of having two major holidays in such close, chronological succession is a trio of kiddos in piano and choir (vocal and bells) and the daily filling of my house with the rehearsal of carols long before Old Tom the Turkey’s annual unsuccessful negotiation with the Evisceration Board. The Christmasy, annoying hummer-alonger, the-tree-won’t-make-an-appearance-until-December-I-promise, enthusiast in me rejoices.

Speaking of trees in the festive, since we’re obviously past the first, I can confirm the tree up in the corner of our living room, although not without trauma. Alas and alack, the lights for the tree refused to shine their lights as requested (aka “plugging into a convenient outlet), and as all resuscitation attempts proved unsuccesssful? They were replaced via a late night run to WalMart, all of which seems to have ignited a spark or two in my sixth grader who approached me randomly and said:

“Give me oil in my lamp, keep it essential.” Either salvation really does occur by osmosis or my sixth grader’s running on fumes again. Take your pick. Either option’s entertaining.  Speaking of the world of entertainment?  Brace yourself. I can finally let you in on a little secret that changed my life last week.  Here goes.

The Big Reveal.
FINALLY.
I’m beyond ecstatic.

After three years as a seminarian’s wife and seventeen years as a spouse of the pastoral?

My ship has come in.
Side of epic port.
And this star is about to board.

On Tuesday, Steve received an email inviting him to provide the invocation at a future

Bryan city council meeting. He accepted and I am over the moon. You see where I’m oing

with this, right?

FINE.

I’ll explain.

(Insert exaggerated, self-righteous, hypocritical sigh here, eye roll included. Plebians.)

It’s going to go down thusly. Steve will show up at the requested hour, wow them with his articulate theologicalfinesse and next thing you know? They want his phone number, the name of our church

and it’s boom time. Yup, just a hop, skip and jump to stuff like

blessing the Bush library on the fourth of July,

christening one of the Cruz clan and

praying protection over Governor Abbott’s luncheon. (Just in case his catering staff didn’t get the memo to replace the romaine with iceberg)

(I’m still mildly miffed they overlooked him for President George Herbert Bush’s funeral

tomorrow, but hey. Baby steps. Baby steps. Breathe, Maria. Just breathe.)

Televangelism? Here we come! Now The Gospel can spread the way God truly intended

and my stellar talents put to their best and fullest use. It’s going to be the first time, in

history, that an RPCNA congregation adds, “Tammy Faye makeup and wardrobe

allowance” as a budget line item.

No, I do NOT have hubris issues. I’m all about God getting the glory. I just demand my

share of mic time and wholly deserved moment in the sun. I’m going to go ahead and

book our first cruise on that new supersize Titanic with the seed money, which I have

faith is already a done deal. What could possibly go wrong?

Okay, now that we’re back from that side trip in flat out, facetious, let’s get real.

One of the best things about having children is that they constantly remind me how ill-

prepared for and insufferable I would be if my life were a public spectacle.

Like when one of my sons complimented me during dinner. I think. He told

me that I was a “semi-normal mom.”  (I didn’t ask him to elaborate. I didn’t want to

know).Then, he proceeded to elaborate that some parents

“believe everything they read on the internet and freak out about stuff before it even

happens.” Some of his siblings chimed in and agreed that I was more laid back about

parenting than select parents they’ve encountered and that they were grateful.

Apparently, I gave them a wide berth to play in the great (and, by insinuation,

dangerous) outdoors when they were younger:

“You didn’t even know where we were half the time.” Oh, I beg to differ. I kept tabs. I just

tried not to hover. Besides, a played out child is a soundly sleeping child. Capice? Then,

they launched into this animated discussion about their future plans and it’s clear

they’re heading in diverse directions, eager to spread their wings and view collegiate

pursuits away from home as the ideal environment for test flights. So much for the non-

freaking-out-before-it-happens parent. Sigh.

Ah, yes and as we inch closer toward day 25, there seems to have been triggered somewhere in their “Santa’s not real but we’re well aware of his facial hair, so let’s launch a self-inflicted poll.” Here are the festive results:

Long beards – “Gross. Disgusting. You would get food stuck in it and just – ewww!”

Goatees – “It looks good on dad but I’ve seen it totally fail on other people. Well, except

Uncle Dave. His is okay. Probably because he and dad look alike.”

Short and neatly trimmed – “Meh. I just don’t like beards really. Period. I’m going to have

a smooth chin until the day I die.”

Straight-up muzzy – “No. Absolutely not. Creepy. Looks like Hitler.”

Sideburns – Instantly denounced as unacceptable to even broach as a topic of discussion.

I wouldn’t worry any of your heads about my opinionated crew. If you saw their “do’s?”

The words, “Don’t,” ” Is that even legal?” and “What in the name of all things follicular is THAT?” would instantly come to mind. Yup. Even with my infusion of Amish and Mennonite genes?

These kiddos wouldn’t know a beehive from a cowlick.

Or a Mullet.

I have to say, though, that their tresses passed for acceptable last night when my youngest three performed in their Christmas recital.  Hurricane accompanied a quartet her sister sang in for a total of five songs. Bugle Boy sang his first ever two solos. He started voice lessons this fall and has taken to it like, well, the proverbial duck to water. I know, I know, parents are prejudicial but I have to tell you. They truly performed in fantastic and I was reminded how much I love it when music makes my heart sing, my soul soar and my eyes leak.

It really is the most wonderful time of the year.

Soli Deo Gloria.

 

Posted by: comedyheirs | November 9, 2018

Why the term, “Divine Appointment,” is Inevitably Redundant

Yesterday afternoon at the pregnancy center looked average on paper. Ah, but then, I had one cancellation and a new name inserted in its place. I sat down with the “unscheduled” client and heard a story of coping with mistreatment and multiple tragedies that had my internal jaw on the floor. While her attitude and resilience were nothing short of astounding, she didn’t hesitate to admit the immensity of her struggles and I mostly just listened.

I asked for her permission to pray at the end of the interview and she eagerly accepted. When I’d finished, I looked up to see her openly weeping. Naturally, I immediately apologized because it’s never my intention to cause another more emotional duress but she waved me away and thanked me.

Profusely.

Repeatedly.

With a smile.

You see, apparently, my prayer (I really don’t remember the words I used) included thanking God for the privilege of meeting this beautiful woman and that she’d rarely encountered anyone who had ever affirmed her thus. Sadly, her experience has considerably reinforced in the opposing and she repeatedly thanked me for my “kindness.”

As she left (and yes, we were both still wiping our eyes), I was reminded again that true and exquisite beauty blooms most proliferate in the soft soil of souls watered with copious tears.

She wasn’t on my scheduled list.
No, ma’am.
Just one more example of His impeccable timing.

Soli Deo Gloria.

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