A follow up
A follow up to an email from last month, which can be found here. It's from one of the leaders of the Union -- pretty much verbatim what she wrote me last week, only touched to preserve the anonymity of their friends. Bit longer, but SO worth it. Enjoy!
I've been wanting to follow up with you about my neighbor, J___ that we prayed for. It meant really a lot to me when you were here, and we brought him before Jesus together. I was able to share with him, as he lay fading away but definitely still awake enough to be listening. He agreed to me praying for them, and sharing about why (My husband) and I have hope and what shapes our lives. He definitely didn't agree to anything and mostly just silently listened, although he did agree to think about what I shared. His wife, J___, was also in the room and was quite emotional throughout that time.
Although he was given a few months to live, he actually passed away 6 days later. We have been as present as we can with J___ (his wife) throughout this time and are praying that God would continue to use us in her life. I just wanted to let you know what happened. I don't think I had the right words and was definitely pretty awkward...but I am so so blessed to have been in that moment sharing with J___ about God's great love for him and desire for him.
What strikes me is -- this is so simple. It meant saying hello when we moved in, going on lots and lots of walks with my babies and seeing J___ and J___ on thesidewalk or getting out of their cars. Having them over for wine ONCE. The extras of our meals wrapped up and brought over to them with drawings from my kids or a flower from the garden. My kids yelling out their names and giving them hugs. Asking them to take care of our cat when we were away. At his funeral we learned so much more about his life that we didn't know, which made this opportunity even more special. We had no master plan or anything...just hopefully being kind and open and knowing that we're sent.
And we could have done so so so much more but even the most simple of gestures over the course of a few years opened their doors to hear the news of Jesus (I hope I shared coherently enough).
I am praying to slow down more and to be more present to God's spirit moving. Where am I sent? Am I really awake and listening? There are no formulas but just being PRESENT in daily life with hope and meaning BUT not rushing around at least gives me the CHANCE to witness and glorify God the Father Almighty, Maker of heaven and earth.
I have all these grandiose dreams. I want to be a writer. Write stories and write essays. I want to be an artist and produce ethereal prints. I want to raise my children filled with courage and beauty and strength and knowing that God has a purpose for them and this world that is full of mystery and beauty. The list could go on and on and it does. But when I stop and listen and ask God -- who? where? what? It seems like he keeps moving me to the doorbells on my street. Maybe my baby and I can visit M___ for coffee one morning soon. Maybe the family across the street wants to have a game night and cocktails with us. Maybe Jeffrey with the wiener dogs wants a handmade halloween card with doggies on it. Maybe before we move we can have the whole block over for root beer floats. etc.
Sorry this is so long-winded. I wanted to thank you again for your prayer and encouragement, as well as Bob and Mark. And I feel like God is showing me something and I wanted to share it. Will you please share this with Bob/Mark so they can have the update about J___ and his wife?
Thanks so much Kyu Ho for your prayers and the time you spend with us. With love,