This was actually written last Thursday. Watch for new posts this week!
This morning I wrote a new post with the same title. Before I had finished and saved it, I hit a wrong button and "Poof" it was gone. This afternoon, I had to laugh at that. This morning.. well, I was a little bummed. Funny what a few hours can do for you.
Some time ago, a man asked me to pray for his grandson. He took off his mask for a bit and shared with me the hurts and pains his grandson was experiencing. Some by his grandson's own choices and others -not. Most who know us both would never realize the deep relationship we have with each other. A relationship that was truly birthed through prayer. Once upon a time this same man had prayed for my physical healing. We did not even know each other face to face at that time. He knew of and about me through my dad, Larry. I was greatly touched he would share with me about his grandson and ask me to pray. Little did we both know then....
Jeremy got to the point where he was living with his grandparents off and on. I met him one night and introduced myself. I also shared with him that I had been praying for him at his grandfather's request. He told me he knew my relationship with his grandfather must be special for him to do that. I invited him to come to the Sunday small group I (hubby too when available) teach for 18 to 25 yr olds. He smiled and said he would think about it.
Jeremy started coming to the group off and on. There are many things about him I could share with you.. some might even make this more exciting of a story. What I can share for sure is this... Jeremy used to sell drugs, did drugs, and had just joined the Army in an effort to try to get his life on a different course. The first Sunday morning he came to the small group, I knew I was going to have to start listening to the Spirit even more so than normal. (For those who have been in any of my classes/groups before can laugh now.) His life's moments had been so incredibly different than any other person I had ever taught or been a leader or really even ministered to before. No, not because of the drugs. That is very common. We ended that first group time with him standing in the middle of the room, laying hands on him, and praying. Spirit was ever so present... it still gives me chills.
The last time Jeremy was in the group.... I shared with him and the others there how much I had come to love and appreciate him. I sat down beside him, looked him in the eyes, and thanked him for sharing his life's moments with us. The look on his face - I won't forget any time soon. He actually asked for prayer about his life and I could not help but take him in my heart even more.
Last night, hubby called me on my cell and asked me to come to the welcome desk down in the foyer of the physical church building. I didn't ask why which is sort of unusual for me at that time of the evening. I was hanging out with a bunch of funny looking people that I also love beyond words - also known as some middle school and high school students. I didn't hesitate in going to see what the call was about though.
When I got to the welcome desk, there was Jeremy. His grandparents were there too. As it turns out, Jeremy had to go to his aunt's this past Sunday. He had missed what he had told me would be his last Sunday in the group. He asked hubby to get me there so he could thank me and tell me goodbye. I hugged him... I know, what a surprise, and got all teary-eyed. I asked him if I could pray for him. I was going to put my hand on his shoulder when he reached out his arms to hug me. We stood there hugging each other as I whispered the prayer in his ear. What I said will stay between me, Jeremy, God, and perhaps hubby if his ears were able to hear with all the other sounds around us. His grandparents were standing off behind us.
Jeremy promised to stay in touch. His grandmother hugged me and thanked me for loving their grandson. It is safe to say that our relationship is even stronger now than before. Funny how that happens. His grandfather couldn't come close to me. He knew he would cry. I knew he would cry. And given the fact that he hugs me too, we all would have been crying. Sometimes - it is okay to watch from a distance that really isn't distant at all.
The title of this might sound strange to some. I don't talk very much about seminary on purpose. While I am thankful for my time there, I have come to learn many valuable lessons just as much outside the halls, walls, and grounds. I would go so far as to say, even more important ones. For when Jeremy showed up, I knew I had to rely on God more than I could myself. The details of that... again I'll let stay.
Will Jeremy ever come to know Jesus as his Lord and Savior? I don't know. What I do know is this... what happened between us is something that they can't teach at seminary. God's love is alive. It is breathing. It did not die on that cross and stay dead. And who am I to say, "I can't love you until you believe as I do."
Please pray for Jeremy.. he has a long road ahead of him. And I remain thankful that Jeremy's grandfather prayed for me when I was paralyzed from the neck down all those years ago... long before we were sent to a place I said I would never go.
God loved first. And that is more than enough for me. In fact, that's where abundant living truly is found.... in His love. And He loved enough to send His Only Son...
Talk about making me all teary-eyed.
As always, dear reader, you've been prayed for.
2 days ago