Sunday, May 03, 2009

My seventeen year old granddaughter Carissa was invited to visit a church with a friend she grew up with. I went along with her out of curiosity having learned there was a new Pastor there. We found our seats and I began surveying the congregation, facility and all the things we humans do. About two rows up to my right sat a thirty something white couple holding two 18 month old girls. The girls were dark black skinned, almost ebony. To find words to describe how cute they were is far beyond my vocabulary but I immediately felt like there must be something of God going on here when orphans are included.

The friend of Carissa is a seventeen year old boy, Josh, who’s father just ran off with another woman and left the state. Josh decided on his own that this was where he wanted to worship and he normally comes alone. The worship music began and there was a sweet spell cast over me and apparently over Josh and Carissa as well, if one can judge by flowing tears. While we worshiped it seemed as though the lyrics of every song applied to the wounded and I could imagine Josh hiding in the cleft of God’s refuge. Here all was good; here pain was eased, comfort applied, hope restored.
As the service concluded I was hard at figuring a way I could tactfully get a squeeze on one of the little orphan girls. I found the mother alone with one of the girls on her back nearly asleep; I introduced myself and conversation came easy as we each shared bits of our faith and circumstance. I asked if I could give her daughter a little hug and after she agreed I moved in close to this angelic gift which had now lapsed into slumber. I gave her a gentle kiss on the cheek and she didn’t even stir, but my heart filled up with the miracle of it all. I think I have bathed in the after glow of that sweet, soft little cheek all day.

Later in the afternoon we went to the nursing home and I noticed a woman sitting in the hallway right outside of the open room we worship in. She had tears in her eyes and I approached her to see if I could comfort her in some way. She had dementia and had just recently been admitted. She was at a loss as to where her husband was. She kept asking me if I had seen him and she just couldn’t understand why he had left her waiting there. The more she talked the more she wept and as I hugged her I found no words that could relieve her. It was a sobering and sorrowful way to begin the service but as I left her there, with no resolution, I was prepared to speak in a more fervent way. The need for a Savior was so clearly etched in my mind by this time that I frequently fought back tears; tears of joy that we have a place, an answer to it all; and I felt privileged to proclaim it.

I spent the remainder of the afternoon in my garden with the memories of lingering kisses, hugs and worship interchanging in my mind as the springtime works its miracle of new life. It is good to be a Christian.
Photo by Federica Fortunati


fcb4 said...

Amen. Good, rich moments indeed. We are the richest of men in those brief times.

HAINAngel2000 said...

This was one of your most powerful posts!! I like reading posts that are in your own words, heart and passion more then words from a book alone. Fred your heart just beams with beauty in this post, you opened your heart and you are a beautiful person. My heart aches truely reading this because my own situations has just brought me anger and I can see it even more so reading the your post, it glows with light. I need to seek God more in my life. Thank you for posting this!!

Mel said...

Greetings, Fred! I so enjoyed reading your accounts of these experiences. I’m so happy for you that you were able to see and appreciate the value in the encounters, and grateful that you were able to put your memories in writing to share with us and to preserve for posterity for many years to come.

The work that God is doing in you as you seek Him is shining through your life in stories just like these. It’s heartwarming and gratifying to see. May your joy be multiplied greatly.

With much affection,

FCB said...

Hi Eric,
Yes, you said it well.
Love Dad

Hi Mary,
I'm gratified that this post struck you so; I have to wince when you call me a beautiful person, there might be a few folks that would argue the point :)
But the moments of the day were as Eric stated, rich thought brief.
It did leave me with the same feeling that you stated, "I need to seek God more in my life". I wonder how many "moments" I have missed because of some attitude of mine. Too many to count. But Sunday was good.
Love Fred

Hi Mel,
Thanks for your encouraging words. I'm glad too, that the Lord opens my eyes to see and feel what He feels continually. So much of the time I miss what He is doing. But we press on.
Warmest regards,

Joseph Pulikotil said...

Hi Fred :)

Very beautiful encounters in one day.

I am surprised that Josh's father ran away with another woman leaving Josh to fend for himself. This is the time Josh would have needed his father to support, guide and advice him. But Josh is God's child and He is taking care of Josh. Josh could have easily gone astray and gotten into bad ways. His father is surely possessed by the devil. He will have to pay for his sins most probably in this world itself.

Kissing a little sleeping child is a great experience and this was possible because God's spirit was moving you. You noticed them in the church - Keeping our eyes open for opportunities to good. However, it appears to me that you were the person who benefited by this experience. No doubt God dwells in little children. By kissing the child you kissed God Himself.

As regards the woman, you did an immense good to comfort her. Again the husband is the culprit. How can he do this to a woman suffering from dementia. If she was normal she can fend for herself and support herself. How terrible! Your kind act must have given her some solace.

It is great news to me that after Sunday service in the church you go to nursing home and spend your time with sick people. You are one of the rarest of rare persons filled with Holy Spirit. I am sure God will bless you abundantly for all this wonderful work you are doing.

Your narration of this Sunday experience is excellent and I enjoyed reading it with rapt attention. Many thanks.

Have a nice day Fred :)

FCB said...

Hi Joseph,
It is a bad enough when a marriage fails, but then to have one of the parents move away hightens the loss and makes the child feel abandoned and unimportant. What you said about God taking care of Josh is precisely the feeling I got as I watched him sing and pray with eyes closed and wringing wet.

Your comments about kissing a little child are, again, the sense I had, like an angels cheek. So pure and innocent.

I appreciate your kind words about the nursing home but I can assure you that I am far from a rare person. It would not be unusual after such a day of glory to end up in a spat with my wife and sit arms crossed glaring for an hour. We are all part angel and part beast, I will let you think the angel is the bigger part but hopefully one of my family members will not comment and straighten the record.
Days like this one are not typical, and most of my life is spent in predictable routines of work, eating, sleeping and complaining about the prearrangement of my life. But now and then God sees fit to let me get a glimpse of His kingdom come.
God bless,