I've been reading "Listen Love Repeat" by Karen Ehman, and it is a truly inspiring book. It makes you want to both open your heart to other people, and see the people who have opened their heart to you in a new light. I have such gratitude for those that have loved me when I was prickly rather than plush.
Karen doesn't give empty ideas of how to help others, instead she shares experiences of how she has reached out, and the difference it has made in the lives of others. She invests in them, making sure to remember those little things that will make each person feel special. She is known as "Mama Karen" to many of her kids' friends. Many who treat her home as their own.
I have my own special Mama. Mama Cyr. She is an amazing woman. She is so quiet, but so strong. Her life story is a true testament to living a Christ centered life. And the most amazing part of the story, to me anyways, is that she loved me before she even really knew me. I used to work at a local bar during the night, and with her at a grocery store during the day. I wasn't really living a Christ filled life. Kind of the opposite. And rather than judge me, or scold me, do you know what she did? She prayed for me.
She didn't even know me.
And over 10 years later, when I walked in to her church, do you know what she did? She welcomed me. She gave me a great big hug. And she continued to love me.
I don't know where I would be without her prayers. I certainly didn't have many people praying I would find Jesus at that particular time in my life. I didn't even know she was praying for me. Such a little thing that had such a huge impact.
A beautiful spirit who saw someone struggling to belong, to find who she truly was. Someone who knelt down to lift me up.
Who can you open your heart to today?
Heavenly Father, I thank you for all the blessings that you have given me. Even the ones that I don't know about. I thank you for the challenges that have brought me to today. I pray for all the people who are struggling right now. I pray your peace, wisdom and protection over them. I pray that they would feel your living arms envelop them. Lord, that you would put someone so directly in their path that they could not help but know that it is You, and that you love them. Right where they are. No matter what they have done. They are worthy of love. They are valuable. And I pray that you would give us a heart to see those hurting around us, and to help us to know what to do to ease the burden. In Your powerful name I pray. Amen.