Sunday morning found me hiding under my covers. For years and years, as long as I can remember, I have been an early riser, mostly because it is the only way I could write and carry on a full fledged ministry and still keep my family as a priority. With books to be written and deadlines to be met and emails to be answered and radio shows for interviews and conferences to arrange, arising early gave me two to three more hours to my day. But this day, I didn't want to get up, feeling weary from the fray. I had thoughts wandering through my head like, "I don't think I can do this anymore. Why have I been driving myself for ministry? You know I love you, Lord. But for the moment, I can't think about everything and I don't want to face this day. I may never get out of bed!" Funny how Satan attacks our thoughts and uses discouragement against us female beings who live and love so much with our emotions.
Now, to give perspective, I was churning inside from the news of a friend's 6 year old daughter who had been sexually molested by a 15 year old cousin; a close family member of mine is struggling against deathly illness, another friend heavy with the care of a precious child who will have mysterious medical challenges forever, the medical issues of two of my own sweet children looming always; and all the other burdens of life. I thought about the time when Jesus was walking along and a woman who had been bleeding for years and she touched his garment and "the strength went out of him." That's how I was feeling--in the midst of my labor with sweet ones, "the strength had gone out of Sally."
Finally, after hours of staying in bed, (from 6 a.m. to 9--that is very late for me!), my feet mechanically moved to the floor. Joy's sweet voice yelled up to me from downstairs, "Don't you dare get up, Mom!" I slipped back in bed, arranged my pillows and waited. She breezed in chattering joyfully about the great morning she was having bearing a tray with a lovely napkin, a steaming hot cup of tea, a glass bowl with freshly cut up cherries, raspberries and blueberries and whip cream on the top, and a small lit candle.
Now, I might have expected this from Sarah, but I wasn't expecting it from Joy. In that moment, Joy became to me the arms of God as she said, "I think you need a nice hug." She squeezed me tight and planted a kiss on my cheek. Her love offering to me seemed to say, "I love you, Sally. I am aware of the ragings of your soul. Here is a sweet angel to soothe your spirit with kindness today," as though it were from God Himself. Joy's service to me became an act of an angel from God, an unexpected flash of light--a gift to strengthen me.
"I have been working for an hour, Mom. I cleaned up the whole downstairs and the kitchen. It looks so pretty. I figured if you were staying in bed that long, you must be in need of cheer. I love you! Now, enjoy yourself alone for a few minutes, I have a couple of more things to take care of!"
Five minutes later, some sweet friends called from Texas, who rarely ever call, and that even on a Sunday morning. "We just wanted to call and pray for you this morning. Is that ok?" Another angel from the Lord--as though He knew the timing, as though He wanted me to know He was still in the battle with me. After we prayed, I could sense my soul lifting.
The battle lines are familiar to me. I am what one might call an old warrior--familiar with the darkness, the battles raging, the issues at stake. I have learned to put one foot in front of another year after year, because my eyes are on what lies ahead--the reward of being with Jesus in His place that He is preparing for all of us who love Him. I have looked at Him and thought about Him and cherished His sacrificial life and His pattern has given me reason to keep going. But this day, this weary day, He broke into my moments, through two small acts of kindness to assure me of His presence. How thankful I am that two people responded to the promptings of my heavenly Father to pour out His gentle, quiet lovingkindess on my weary soul. Thank you, Joy, thank you, Macy's.