Out of his fullness, we have all received grace in place of grace already given. John 1:16
I had a teacher in elementary school who asked a dozen times a day if we had crossed our t’s and dotted our i’s. It was her way of asking if we had looked things over and taken care of the details. The older I get, the more I realize how much the little details matter. The tiny stuff can take something from good to amazing! I’ve had a week to process my trip to New York and I realize it was so packed with extras that I feel like a spoiled kid on Christmas morning. My trip was sprinkled with amazing people, beautiful encounters with the work of the Father and so many perfectly arranged details it has left my cup absolutely running over! I hopped a plane and headed off to “give” but when I got back home I realized I “received” so much more than I “gave”. The Lord introduced me to a giver, an entertainer, a doer, some shepherds and a whole lot of beautiful disciples . All of these people touched my heart and just by doing what they are naturally gifted to do, brought joy, light and the Love of God into my life.
The giver was the woman who brought me to New York. She is undoubtedly the most gentle, humble, giving soul I’ve ever met. She gives to everyone she meets with sincere generosity! She worked for months to arrange the details of the trip but when the event happened she quietly slipped into a church pew un-noticed. When the Father calls us to be humble, I’m thankful she showed me what that really looks like. When weather changed my trip home and took away the time I was going to spend getting a surprise to take home to the middle lovelies, she handed me a package to take home for them. From now on when I imagine my guardian angel swooping in to put all things in order at the height of my frazzle; I will see her sweet face!
The entertainer laughed easy and loved hard. She opened her home to me; a total stranger and welcomed me with loving hospitality, excellent meals and stories and conversation that made me laugh and think and cry. We shared coffee, tea, prayers, friendship and it all came so easy to her. Her mission was to serve and she did it with Martha’s flair sprinkled with Mary’s holy focus. I was truly touched by her genuineness and when I think about Jesus’ call to be last of all and servant of all, I will remember she gave me a powerful lesson in exactly what that should look like.
The doer was like a whirling dervish that showed up out of nowhere with a bright Italian smile and just put things in order. She could zoom in on the details and add a creative flair before I even realized something was missing. This beautiful soul hauled equipment, hung signs, made things pretty and prayed for us all without missing a beat. She was so full of passion and life you couldn’t help but feel energized standing next to her. When Pope Francis challenged us to not be “pew potatoes” or “believers with sour faces” this lady followed his direction perfectly.
The shepherds were so amazing! I was so blessed to meet seven fabulous priests and a few delightfully joyful nuns who so truly loved their work for the Lord. Each one of them had a set of gifts and graces that allowed them to love and serve the Lord and his people in a unique way. They made me laugh, they made me think and they called and inspired me to go out into the deep. Some led with humor, some inspired with a sense of holiness you could almost feel and each had a passion and a loyalty to their parish flock. I watched them have loving conversations, pray powerfully with troubled and hurting people, and greet and welcome with the true passion and love of Jesus. I enjoyed watching the way their combined gifts shepherded three parishes of believers.
Finally, there were the disciples. I met people of all ages and stages. They shared their stories and trusted the middle lovelies and I with their prayer requests. They came out in the cold each evening to enjoy prayer and fellowship and walk toward Christ together. I got to spend time with students and teachers and at a luncheon in a room filled with beautiful faith filled women. They were so quick to share their story and their struggles and their discoveries about the ways Christ was working in their life. I was touched by their honesty, their openness and I’m so completely grateful that God gave me a front row seat to the incredible things he was doing in their hearts.
The lessons, the grace, the laughter; they were laid out like a banquet right before me and all I had to do was open my eyes and soak in the beauty of HIS beloved children. Are your eyes open to the gifts and graces the people in your path have to share and teach? Open your eyes…God is great with the details!
A Seed To Plant: Be on the lookout today for a lesson in generosity, kindness, service or prayerfulness.
Blessings on your day!
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