Our PTP Spark week was therapy in lots of ways for many people, but I could not exactly say it was a therapeutic week of peace at Serenity. We had a house full of people and three of them were six and down. ‘LIza, who is fifteen months got into the office supplies drawer in my kitchen and scattered thumbtacks all over the floor. I did not get them all up before Colleyanna who is four stepped on one in her bare feet just as it was time to leave for the kick-off at the building on Sunday morning. ‘Liza also got into my purse and scattered my Spark receipts and my credit cards all over the entire place as I was trying to get out the door. Then I applied shaving cream all over the back of my hair as I complained “Why is this can of dry shampoo not spraying?” A fever virus ran through all the kids and one adult. Eliza Jane picked this week to explore just about every gymnastic skill you can imagine. A pipe leak produced rain on a stack of boxes of new Digging Deep books in our basement. Through this I spoke 7 times, Glenn spoke eight times and we each attended about 25 or so sessions…WITH KIDS! =). Our spiritual cups are full and our physical cups are a bit depleted. God is sovereign and good.
One quick episode as I think back make weeks like this all the more worthwhile. Ezra and Eliza and I made a quick run to the dollar store in the middle of the frenzy. I don’t know what made this elderly woman in the store delusional, but she said this “Ma’am, I just have to comment on the behavior of this little boy. Is he always this good? He is just quietly helping that baby girl to see the things she is looking at and he is nicely waiting his turn to show you what he is finding. I just love watching him.” Of course, having probably just refereed a big argument as we got out of the car, I was looking around for whose children she was seeing. But, in the end, I decided I would play along for the benefit of positive reinforcement.
“Well…” I said, “He is a very good boy and he is a good big brother.”
“How do you teach him to be like this?” she asked.
“Well, it’s really not me. God is so good to us and he tries to be like Jesus.” I was talking in simplicity with volume, so Ezra would take this in.
“Well, I am new in town,: she said, “and I love the Lord, too.”
Our conversation developed and we invited her to come to West Huntsville and hear Ezra’s grandaddy preach. Turns out she has a background in the church, but it’s been a while since she attended. Ezra told her he would watch for her at Bible class. When he saw her checking out in the front of the store he said “She’s leaving. Let’s go tell her bye and make sure she knows where the Bible class is.” And so we did. In the parking lot, he tried very hard to go and give her a card about our worship times, but she got away too quickly.
I forgot all about her. Then on Sunday morning, as we sat down on our pew, I saw him searching all over the auditorium. I said “You need to sit down now.”
“But I think I do see her,” he said. He pointed to a lady in a far-away section and said “Isn’t that her?”
“Isn’t that who?” I responded.
“The lady from the dollar store. I think she came.”
Now I would have given my last dollar if it HAD been her, but it wasn’t. “Maybe she will come next time,” I said. “But whether she ever comes or not, we are going to keep inviting people because someone will come and someone will obey His gospel and go to heaven if we keep on inviting.”
I love that little heart. I love the fact that at PTP Spark, we had ladies from far-away places who are just beginning to learn about the church of our Lord. I love that He has allowed me—even little finite me (and you)—to be a tool in the greatest evacuation mission in history; evacuating souls from the power of sin.
In other SPARK news, lots of men are asking about a DVD that was mentioned in one of the sessions. During SPARK week, it was out of stock. Glenn wanted me to tell your husbands it’s restocked now. It’s a how-to DVD about grooming your future elders in the church. It’s a tool that’s helped lots of churches prepare men to be godly elders and I really can’t think of a more important work on the planet right now. We have a desperate need. So many churches have failed in recent decades to replace the godly leaders that have passed to the eternal reward of faithful shepherds. There is a void of guidance and the sheep are wandering in so many places. You can find this helpful program here: www.thecolleyhouse.org.
As I write, I notice my coffee mug is resting on a book called “Disciples of the Empty Tomb” (by Brandon Renfroe). Those words must be more than just a book/coaster on my bedside table. May that discipleship be the cornerstone of all I think and pray–all my stay, in every way, in every day!