“They walked here from Brazil”, she said. That stopped me in my tracks as I was chopping and prepping lunch for 30 Haitian refugees yesterday in my church kitchen. My dear friend Crystal and I were making lunch and dinner for these dear brothers and sisters in Christ who had traversed continents to be here.  Nothing had prepared me for that statement! Walked from Brazil? How does one even do that? What is so strong in your heart and mind that you would even attempt such a feat? I do not know that kind of passion. Humbled does not even begin to explain my feelings. I sit here today STILL overwhelmed by that statement. 

These precious people have come to America legally, sponsored by the Haitian ministry at our church. A few years ago our church started that Haitian ministry. These folks are passionate about Jesus and their love for each other. I have great love for my Haitian friends. We take for granted this blessed life we live. We have everything! Look around you right now wherever you are reading this. Crystal and I went on to count what we have here as Americans. We have clean water, indoor bathrooms, expendable income, cupboards full of food, houses to live in, clothes, electricity, medical care, retirement income, more than enough to NEVER complain! These people WALKED from Brazil with nothing to get something. They are full of gratitude for a better life.

This month has been a whirlwind of weird for me. It started with my own personal “mission trip” to work in my friend’s VBS in Elk Grove. I was to co-direct my own church’s VBS as soon as I got home but ended up spending 7 days in Oregon at my daughter’s hospital bedside. She was gravely ill. I flew home as the surgeon assured me she was on the mend. A day later my husband and I made our annual 4 day trek to Comic Con then I was off to our family’s annual beach camping trip. Yesterday I had the privilege of preparing a meal for people I did not know.  My pastor had called me and asked if I could provide a meal and I said yes. I said yes when I could just as easily have said no. I was so tired, spent, exhausted, worn out, my brain was on tilt but I said yes. Oh, I would have missed such a profound blessing had I said no! 

From shopping to clean up it took us 5 hours. It was hot in that kitchen. We had 3 fans blowing, 4 pans boiling, 1 oven blazing and 7 large banquet aluminum pans full of food to present. I would have missed the fellowship with Crystal and Jeff. I would have missed the comfort and closeness that cooking together with a friend brings. I would have missed that life changing statement “they WALKED from Brazil.” I am so blessed that I said yes! 

Matthew 25:35 says “For I was hungry, and you gave Me something to eat; I was thirsty, and you gave Me drink; I was a stranger, and you invited Me in.” 


What opportunities do you have today to serve others? If you look around you will see myriads of needs. Jesus told us the poor would always be among us. Be Jesus to someone today. Don’t miss the blessing! They WALKED from Brazil to live here in the United States where they knew they would have a better life with more opportunity. Show your love today. You have such a God given abundance. Do a simple kindness. Say YES!  #whenyouwalkwiththewise

“History has its eyes on you.” That phrase has profoundly affected me ever since I first heard it through my ear buds.  I downloaded the soundtrack from the hit Broadway musical Hamilton and immediately fell in head over heels love with that phrase. The song portrays George Washington feeling the weight of the battle. He expresses in song that history has its eyes on him. He then turns to Alexander Hamilton and sings it to him as well.  History did have its eyes on those two men and the scores of others who shaped our nation. 

Every single day history has its eyes on us; who we are, what we do, how we can change our world for the good. People are watching us. Our families, our children, our neighbors, the corner grocer, the kid on the skateboard, all watching us. The soundtrack goes on to give me another very moving phrase, “you have no control who lives, who dies, who tells your story.” How will others tell YOUR story?

This past week has been a week like none other. Last Wednesday I got word that my darling daughter was gravely ill. She lives in Oregon and I in San Diego, California. Immediately I cried out to God, “Save her life Father. Please save her.” I went in to momma bear mode making all arrangements to get to her bedside as fast as humanly possible. “God, help me. What do I do?” It was the nurse calling me telling me she needed me that made me wish I was The Flash. Michele is married and has 2 children. Her husband was very stressed and worried. My daughter has a compromised immune system from a genetic disorder and her fevers spike quickly. She had a life threatening strep infection. 

I knew that I knew God had this. He had her in His hands. She is his. How would I react? How would I treat those helping me? I wanted to scream. When, later this story is told, how would it be told? Would it be honoring and glorifying to God? Every day we make those decisions. Will people around us know us and remember us as God honoring, God trusting, faithful people? I had a choice to make. I chose to put my full and complete trust in my faithful Heavenly Father Who had never let me down. 

That very week I was to co-direct our church’s VBS. God had other plans for me. He wanted me to be sitting day and night in a hospital room watching over and comforting a very sick woman. My little girl. While I was gone 3 dear friends died. Learning that news again made me repeat those words “you have no control who lives, who dies, who tells your story.” All 3 of my friends loved the Lord and are looking at the face of Jesus. We will tell their stories as we talk about how they influenced us. We, as Christians, know Who has control over who lives and dies. Our stories are told by those we influence. What will your story be?  Proverbs 22:1 tells us a good name is worth more than silver or gold. 


 

I could have walked into that hospital and gone all “Shirley MacClaine” on them. Remember? She was the crazed mother in the hospital in the movie Terms of Endearment who ran screaming down the halls for her daughter to get her pain meds. I chose to bring Jesus into Three Rivers Hospital with me. Jesus or Shirley MacClaine? Which would you choose? My sweet girl was in horrible pain. The staff was amazing. At this posting she is still hospitalized but improving in baby steps. I had many opportunities to share Jesus with chaplains, patients, doctors, nurses and comfort my daughter and her family. The history of that story had its eyes on me. Choosing Jesus is always wise. How will they tell your story?

I found 3 pennies in Grant’s Pass. God continued to remind me to trust Him always. It seemed when I was at my lowest a penny would show up. In God we trust. When they tell my story, when my time on this earth is over, I want them to say, “she trusted God; she was faithful.” History has its eyes me. History has its eyes on you.

#InGodwetrust #whenyouwalkwiththewise