Sunday, February 16, 2014

Faith and Hope

"Lord, I guess You saw what happened yesterday.  Heard, too.  There I was standing in this line waiting when she came in behind me with that baby wrapped up in a blue blanket.  Could not even see the child.  You surely remember how it went.  I asked about her baby and she said he was three months old.  You heard the conversation.  I asked her if he was her first and she said she had three.  One was ten, the second died when six months old, and the third I could see peeking out from under the blanket.  Lord, I was not expecting what she said and how she said it.  Though a tear was in the corner of her eye, she never lost her smile.  I will not forget how she said, 'God has a plan, God has a plan.'
Lord, I have preached and taught about faith and hope for over forty years.  I figured I knew something about faith and what it meant to hope, but when she spoke, Lord, it was like I knew nothing.   I might have been the one who ought to have known, but in that moment she was the teacher and I was the student.  How does a woman who has lost a child have another?  How does a woman move out of that unspeakable darkness and dare to give birth to another baby?  Lord, she knows more about faith and hope than I have learned in a lifetime. 

I cannot remember when I have stood in the presence of such faith.  Such hope.  Such courage.  I never learned her name.  It was not that kind of moment, but her witness to You, Lord, I will carry in my heart and memory for a long time.  As I think about her witness, I know I need to ask You to forgive me for embracing such a lukewarm faith and thinking I was ok.  Lord, I am far from it.  Forgive me for thinking differently, and, Lord, please be patient and keep working in  my heart until the kind of faith I saw in her is the kind of faith dwelling in my own heart.  Thank You, Lord, for a Word from that young mother with her child.  Thank You.  Amen."

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