Today I was thinking of all the people I have met along the way to this point right here in my life. I was thinking of my children. How I raised them to adults and taught them what I know and now in return they are teaching me some new tricks just by the way they live their very lives, everyday all the time.
I was sitting here thinking about how I have become the sum total of all the people I have loved in my life. I was thinking of all the times I have met Jesus along the way in my travels and all the people that have been Jesus to me. I was thinking of my daughter, Lori, in far away Chicago; she is having some sorrows in her life now. My daughter is a risk taker; she loves people deeply and risks being hurt just as deep. She has taught me to take calculated risks in my life. I am glad I raised Lori to be the person she is and that I have listened long enough to her to take risks as boldly as she does. I can listen to my children and learn a myriad of ways to deal and cope with life today. My children are a blessing to me.
Did I ever tell you about the miracle of Pearl and May, two sisters who lived in the mountains of Virginia? The town was small but prosperous. It was a full and abundant town, they knew everyone and everyone knew them. Life in the town was pretty normal – you know – babies - grow up – school - life – marriages – deaths – pretty normal. But there was a miracle in that town. The two sisters owned two farms which butted right up against each other, farm to farm all along the mountain side. All summer long they grew fruits, vegetables and herbs. The ones in need knew when to come around to help with the harvest. Pearl and May always had enough for themselves and for the person in need that came to their door. All summer they canned and put up for winter so they would have enough for themselves, because the weather would set in and there they were on the mountain until spring. Pearl and May did a miracle each winter. They owned a small trailer that was between the two properties. Each winter as the weather set in they moved to the trailer. All winter long they lived in there and to keep themselves occupied they made baby quilts. Every baby born in that town was wrapped in a quilt hand made by Pearl and May to keep them warm in the winter when the weather set in. Now I went to the mountains that summer thinking I was going to fix some houses and help the people in need… little did I know that I would become the one that got fixed. I think of them often when working in my garden and taking food to the Free Store Food Bank. I am not sure who helped who more that summer.
Then there was the preacher I met another summer, I was back in the mountains helping make homes warmer, safer and drier; still thinking that others were the ones that needed the help fixing their lives and homes. I was still stubborn and still young, still thinking I was going to change people in the mountains, little did I know they were there to change me.
Our job that summer day, while we were waiting for supplies to be delivered, was to go to this store front church and help this man put chairs up for a singing that was going to be held that evening. The church was called “The Church of the Double Blessing”. We set up about 90 chairs that we brought over from the school. We got to talking to the preacher and he sure was a friendly peaceful man. He told us how on Sunday when they met to pray each person would lay their needs at the foot of the cross and they would bless them during the service. After the service, the preacher would take the needs and read them and start to pray. One by one he prayed for their needs. Now these needs were basic. A ham for a family, shoes for the child, a car repair for the family car that took half the neighborhood to appointments. He would pray and bless them and then he would wait. He waited on the Lord. One by one the needs would be answered. A store would call with an extra case of hams; someone would call with an offer to help a family with children that needed clothes and shoes. He waited and one by one the prayers were answered each week. That story gave me Goosebumps and it helps me to this day to pray and wait. To wait and pray. I learned to be patient and wait setting up chairs in a church called “The Church of the Double Blessing” odd that name, not really if you think of how the miracles came to each person there.
There are other people - a teacher who listened one day on the phone to words that I had buried so long and so deep I could barely speak them, but she waited for me to finish the sentence and was quiet longer until I could breath again. I have recently found my sisters and have enjoyed their company and conversations. I recently discovered how journeying with my Dad has sculpted who I became even when I left the home and started exploring the world at a very young age. As hard a job it was to dismantle the homestead that lesson was the most clarifying to the soul.
Indeed all these people that I have met, all these sorrows that I carry, all the joys that I have had brought me right here right now talking to you. I am all these people. There is love enough and love enough to share.