My Dear Dear Friend, Miss Shirley
I was feeling this overwhelming sadness that I couldn't put my finger on.
Sadness alone is a bad idea cliff.
She was sitting on a bench by herself outside the chapel just enjoying the solitude.
And the Holy Spirit said, "It's ok."
So I asked her if it was ok if I sat down beside her, (just because He knows everything doesn't mean I always hear Him right).
She said sure. And I sat.
She and I had met some months before but we barely knew each other past the I-wish-remembering-names-were-my-spiritual-gift awkward hey... you.
The Holy Spirit said, "It's ok. You can ask her."
I said, "Could I justmaybe hold your hand?"
She said, "Of course."
And we just sat on the bench beside each other holding hands.
And I burst into tears.
I missed my momma, I think. He knows for sure.
And I don't know how long we sat there like that--no more than a few minutes but at some point, I said, "Tell me your name again."
She said, "Shirley."
And I heard and said, "Surely goodness and mercy will follow you all the days of your life."
He was waiting for me there in her gentle presence.
In literally just a few unforgettable moments, she and I shared His heart and now we love each other, forever.
Brene Brown reminds us that vulnerability leads to connection.
In retrospect: Receptivity solidifies it.
Reciprocity concretizes it.
Look in her eyes for two seconds and you can feel it: She knows how to love with His eyes.
Now we go to lunch and huddle up at the back of the church and conspire and compare notes from our time with Him. She shares with me from her storehouse and I share with her from mine. She is one of my favorites.
She changed everything in my heart that morning with the simple willingness, the kindness to sit with me and hold my hand when anyone could see I was hurting--she did something about it.
It is so rich to stop and remember with gratitude the ones who stopped and held my hand. My wife did it yesterday. And my Thursday gang. Philip the day before.
Maybe rejection or abandonment are trying to whisper something to us.
Let's hold His hand instead and say, "Surely goodness and mercy will follow you all the days of your life.." Psalm 23:6.