Monday, 19 March 2018

Just a Smile

My Facebook feed was filled with the news this morning.  No, it wasn't a national disaster, or a school shooting or anything like what we've been seeing lately. 

It was the news that our community had lost one of our "less fortunate."  

He was a simple man, with no earthly possessions.  He had no home, no bed, no vehicle.  Just his clothes, a guitar and a smile. 

And yet the news of his passing had blown up my whole feed. 

It all started when the fires forced our evacuation last summer.  This gentleman was bussed to a nearby city, and then he seemed to vanish.  Some people would say they had seen him and talked to him.  But then, even after we all made it home, he never did.  There were search committees organized to go as far as 5 hours away from us.  It was spread on the news.  And we never stopped searching. 

He was finally found, but not in the way we had hoped.

How is it possible that this one man had such an effect on our communities? 

He didn't donate thousands of dollars to those in need.  He was one of those we considered in need.  

I believe it's because, in a way,  he gave us everything he had.  He gave his time to those who wanted a friendly ear.  He had a smile for everyone who passed by.  He gave it all.

Chances are really great that whoever is reading this has no idea who I'm talking about.  But maybe you know something just like this man.  Someone who doesn't have much, and yet continues to share themselves, because that is what they can do.

And maybe we can pay tribute to them by learning from their actions.  We can give of ourselves, even if it's just to smile as everyone who passes by.  Maybe that's all they need today, is to see a friendly face.

I think sometimes we get consumed with the thought that we can't help because we don't have enough.  We are short on funds.  Or we are short on time.  Or maybe we just don't know where to begin.

Maybe, just like this beautiful soul learned, all it takes is just a smile.

I don't know what challenges you are facing today.  I do know to some of you, those challenges are going to seem insurmountable.  I know that this gentleman certainly didn't have it easy, but I do know that he managed to spread joy to those around him in the simplest of ways.  So I challenge you this week to find someone who needs nothing more than your smile, and give it to them.  It can't hurt to try.

Heavenly Father, I thank you today that I was blessed enough to have met this man, and many others like him.  I pray that he is with you now, and that he knows the incredible impact he had.  And I pray that we would be inspired to remember that your love is ever present, and that it doesn't need to be complicated or time consuming for us to show it to others.  Show us those around us that need just a smile, or maybe for someone to lend them an ear.  Open our eyes to those people, and enable us to remember that we are able to be the answer to their prayer, if only we would say yes.  In faith I pray.  Amen.

Monday, 12 March 2018

In Spite of Me

Do you ever have a moment where God really puts you in your place?  I do.

Today was one of those days.  My husband was playing drums during worship, and it was the end of church.  They always do one closing song.  I was praying for my father in law, and giving thanks for all of the blessings.  The song said something about mountains, and this feeling just slammed in to me.  I wasn't the only one who felt it either.  At exactly the same time, the worship leader reacted.

I have no idea what he was praying for.  We both tried to continue singing, neither one of us being very successful, but the congregation sang on.

It's a surreal feeling when you aren't the only one being bombarded by His love.  I didn't know how to feel that both of us were being so affected at the same time, but I was certainly glad that He made us know that he was hearing our prayers.

I feel like the more willing I am to feeling His presence, the more I can.  Does that make sense?  When I put myself to the side and concentrate on His voice, I get better and better at hearing it.  I just have to work harder at hearing it.

Then this afternoon, I was listening to my daughters paint their nails.  My oldest was treating my youngest to birthday celebration nails.  My oldest has a birthday coming up, and wants everyone to be in on the festivities.

My little is pretty fidgety, as most 3 year olds are.  Sweetie was being so patient, adding layer after layer of her own nail polish, waiting to start her nails until Munchkin's were done.

I was sitting in the other room, reading, trying to decompress from the last month.

And all of a sudden, I hear Sweetie, cheering on her sister for sitting so well, even though she knows its hard for Munchkin to sit still for very long.

There was that voice again.

It was letting me know that in spite of me, and trying to make myself responsible for everything and everyone, He's got this.  He's filling in the holes I leave behind in my imperfection.  And He's there with them as much as He is with me. 

In spite of me, He will succeed.  Not because of me.  So maybe I can let go of some of that pressure, and realize that I just have to show up and listen.

I don't know what your day was like, or what challenges you are facing.  They are probably much larger than mine.  That's okay.  He's bigger than all of it.  He's got this, and He's got you.

Heavenly Father, I thank you for all of the blessings in my life.  I thank you for my littles, and the wisdom they bring to each and every day.  I thank you for the challenges they bring, that help me to grow as a parent, even on the days where I am fighting the opportunity to grow.  I thank you that even though I'm stubborn, you are even more so.  I lift up all of those that are struggling to still their hearts and hear that small, still voice that is waiting for them.  I pray that they would hear Your voice, and feel your love like never before.  I faith I pray.  Amen.