As American Christians we relish the double portion outcome of a Job like experience. We crave the justification that it brings to a life altering circumstance, it seems to clarify the How’s and Why’s of it all. We often love the beginning and the end of victorious testimonies and like to skip the middle part that includes the process and the time it takes to live in it, that part is often shortened or dismissed in the retelling of a collision-like experience in a life.
In the parable of the Good Samaritan the focus is to examine the question “Who is my brother?” but I find it interesting that the man who was robbed cannot move forward until he is assisted by the Good Samaritan while he is overlooked by those who should have helped him, those who are called to help him, those who are put in positions to help him yet choose to look the other way. The man cannot get up and leave because the robbers have left, he is unable to simply go about his life or get back on his way. He must heal first.
We were privileged in March to be invited to house sit for Jennifer Zachariou’s parents home in Granite Bay, A beautiful home with gorgeous views and serenity I cannot describe. Jennifer knew we needed some time alone that was restful to recuperate and reflect on what to do next, every door we had tried at that point was closed to us and we felt very discouraged. I had no idea the manna that would come from this visit, but God did:)
I had lunch with Suzanne Rentz, the creator of Daughter’s of Heaven, who gave me opportunities to speak at these conferences when I was new to retreat speaking. I knew she had just finished writing a devotional book for girls and wanted to check in with her about that and give her an update on our current situation. In that conversation she offered to let us house sit for a home she and Mark were flipping. They are talented ministers and wonderful people who now have their own real estate business. I never expected that our lunch would result in the beginning of our being able to move forward in our lives.
It would take several paragraphs to explain all the opportunities that Mark and Suzanne have given us…2 homes to care take for them while being sold, work for us to do so we could earn a little income, referrals for other work, the list is endless.
Mark occasionally talks about no longer being in vocational ministry…but I think when you see your brother is lying in a ditch broken, bleeding and bewildered and you complicate your own life to bind the wounds, lift the head and restore the dignity of another there is no GREATER ministry…isn’t that exactly what Jesus did as He walked this earth?
And because we were here in Sacramento other opportunities followed, this week Tim and I started working. I was hired at Bradshaw Christian to teach High School English, it has been my desire to teach High School for some time. And while Tim’s primary focus is to finish his seminary degree, he will be commuting to Modesto Christian to teach bible part time to middle school students. He has been given some preaching opportunities in Sacramento and painting jobs as well.
It is not the big TADA ending that so many of you have hoped for us but it is a beginning.
At lunch that day Suzanne said to me “Let’s just see what we can do to get your feet back under you” that thought changed my process. I was trying to get back up and run at full speed after being hit head on and sent flying into the ditch. I thought I could just get up and run again and carry on like I wasn’t broken, wounded and unable to walk on my own…I realized it was OK to just take it one step at a time…to just get my feet under me and then stand when I was ready, maybe shuffle a little and then someday walk and hopefully somewhere out in the future run again.
Sacramento has been full of Good Samaritans for us, People who have chosen to give to us at an expense to themselves, The Zachariou’s, Janet Cochrane, The Beshiline’s, Chuck Greer, Ed Silva, Joe Sunderland…the list is endless those who stopped their lives to help mend ours.
Many of you have prayed for us, bought us a meal or made us laugh along the way and you hold very special places in our hearts and we are forever grateful! May the Lord give back to you over and over for all your kindnesses to us.
The Message (MSG)
34-36″Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Enter, you who are blessed by my Father! Take what’s coming to you in this kingdom. It’s been ready for you since the world’s foundation. And here’s why:
I was hungry and you fed me,
I was thirsty and you gave me a drink,
I was homeless and you gave me a room,
I was shivering and you gave me clothes,
I was sick and you stopped to visit,
I was in prison and you came to me.
37-40″Then those ‘sheep’ are going to say, ‘Master, what are you talking about? When did we ever see you hungry and feed you, thirsty and give you a drink? And when did we ever see you sick or in prison and come to you?’ Then the King will say, ‘I’m telling the solemn truth: Whenever you did one of these things to someone overlooked or ignored, that was me—you did it to me