joy to my soul. Psalm 94:19
I am an early riser, it’s just how I’m wired I guess but even I have my limits. It had been a crazy week and when my alarm went off at 4:45 on SATURDAY morning I think it’s fair to say my thoughts were not filled with joyful praise to the Lord! It took a few foggy seconds but then I sleepily remembered that the reason my alarm was beeping at me was because I
had a date with a group of lovely ladies in a nearby church basement. It was a wonderful morning. There were so many ladies there, at 8 am on a Saturday morning for one simple reason…to draw a litter closer to the Lord. They were a beautiful crowd and I’m so happy I got the chance to enjoy their company.
As He often does, God had a surprise for me in that crowd. It was a surprise that certainly made it worth getting up that early on a Saturday morning. I saw toward the back of the room, a lovely lady I knew only by face…a face I saw more than twenty years ago and never forgot. The lady I saw works for the church that had invited me to speak Saturday morning and she has devoted decades of her life to the service of the Lord. She touched my life and she never even knew it and I vowed that if our paths ever crossed again I would be sure to thank her. The story began on a May day twenty years ago when our son Jason was born. I had been moved into my room and the nurse told me there was another woman in labor and they would be bringing her in after the baby was born. She didn’t arrive until early the next morning and it didn’t take long to realize all was not well on the other side of the thin curtain that separated us in that tiny hospital room. This beautiful couple, whose name I don’t even know, had been in the labor and delivery room all afternoon and all night delivering pre-mature twin boys. The first son was still born and the other was in very critical condition. I listened to the grieving father speak with the furniture store who was to deliver the double set of nursery furniture that afternoon. I listened to the mother softly cry as the father cancelled half of the order and postponed the delivery. I was engulfed in their pain and grief as I sat on the edge of my bed cradling my happy, healthy beautiful baby boy and I felt like my heart was going to break for this young set of parents. Just when I thought I couldn’t take one more minute of it, in walked a lady named Rose. She came with a spirit of joy and peace and compassion that bathed the whole room and everyone in it. She came to represent the church the couple belonged to but she was truly there as an ambassador of the Christ who would bear them up. Her presence cast an immediate calm on all of us. She wrapped them in her arms as they saw their tiny son’s foot prints and locks of hair. She prayerfully prepared them to meet their other tiny son and when the visit was complete she sat and prayed with this couple until they collapsed on the bed in complete emotional and physical exhaustion. She was absolutely amazing! I have never met anyone like her. She had such a gift and as she left the young couple, she came to my side of the room to peek at my baby as if to re-assure me I still had the right to celebrate and be happy about the new life in my arms despite the loss of the couple next to me. As she left the room that day I thanked God for her and the gift she gave that couple and to me. Saturday, I got to deliver that message to a very humble, tearful beautiful lady named Rose. I asked her how she found the words in situations like that and she assured me she never really had to look for them because when you open yourself completely to the work of the Lord, He supplies everything you need, including His perfect words when we have none of our own. In the course of our conversation, I learned that Rose will retire this week. She smiled and said she thought it was time since she will be 85 at the end of the month. Again, she left me stunned!
The kind of compassion Rose shared that May afternoon, took courage and great faith and trust in the healing power of God. I think that’s what I admired most that day. I think we are great at spreading kindness and finding and sharing God in the celebrations and successes of life but it takes something bigger to reach out when the situation is hard or painful. I have wondered many times what that couple would have done without the loving comfort of the Father delivered by a lovely soul on that dark day. I’m just so very pleased I got to tell Rose what a blessing she was. Seeing her and hugging her neck Saturday morning reminded me of two things; first I need to remember God can work through us in any situation if we just ask Him to and then have the courage to follow in the direction He points us. And second, sometimes life is just hard, messy and sad and those are the times we are needed most to share the love and peace of Christ. Without pain and turmoil, we would never appreciate peace. Getting up early on a
Saturday morning to spend time in the company of those who love the Lord was truly a blessing!
A Seed To Plant: If your life has been touched by the peace and compassion of someone, find a way to let them know how much you appreciated it.
Blessings on your day!