Monday, September 21, 2009

I received this email from a member of our church family who had not been in worship the previous Sunday. Amy MacDonald is a school teacher in a local middle school. Reading it blessed me and so I share it now with you:

Dear Pastor Amy:

I want to share this story because it was a blessing to me, and I think you will agree:

I was driving down Bridge Street in Elkton this morning on my way to the Town Point service when I saw a man with a broken foot on crutches making his way down the sidewalk in front of Jake's Burgers.

As I drove past, I felt that gentle nudge that I should go back and offer him a ride. So (for once!) I immediately obeyed and turned around. He said yes, he would like a ride; he was going to crutch out to Route 40 and hitchhike to Rising Sun. I asked him where he wanted to go, and he told me Route 276 across from the Nazarene Church to his mother's house.

As we were driving, he asked me where I had been going. I told him that I was headed to church, but felt that God wanted me to help him instead. He then offered that for the first time in a very long time, he had attended a praise performance nearby in Pennsylvania a couple of weeks ago. When I asked him how he broke his foot, he said he had fallen off a ladder at work and had no insurance. He said he didn't have a car but he did have a scooter. However, he was riding his scooter without a license and got a ticket. We then talked about our children and realized that his youngest son goes to my school!

We drove in silence for a bit, then he said he had said a prayer that someone would give him a ride but he didn't really think it would happen. I told him that now that it had, I hope it would add to his faith that his prayers will be answered if he really believes that God loves him.
When we got to his mother's house, he thanked me profusely. I felt that gentle nudge again, so I gave him my weekly tithe to help while he is not working.

It is true ... it is SO way cooler (as my students say) to give than to receive :)

The other Amy

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Accidental Gardening

It has been an interesting season of gardening. As is typical for any garden we cultivate, it is currently composed of about 3/4 weeds with a few plants bearing produce mixed in. This is the natural result of avoiding the task of weeding.

This past autumn, we had also saved all of the leaves from our yard to use in our compost pile. It is working out well. We are just about through the leaves of last autumn in time for this autumn.

Because of the giant leaf pile that has lived in our yard this year, the area around the compost pile became even more overgrown that usual. Several weeks ago, I went out to dump kitchen scraps into the compost pile- a job my husband is far more faithful about doing often, God bless him. Imagine my surprise and delight to find acorn squash, butternut squash, and white gourds growing out of the pile!

I guess there is something to be said for letting nature take its course. Our compost pile may not be the most efficient, but it certainly does the job of recycling. And now it would seem that it also does a good job of planting an additional garden for us!

It feels like being surprised by grace, a physical manifestation of the truth that I see repeated over and over and over again in life: God is able to bring good out of piles of refuse.