My husband answered the knock at the door, and a women's prayer group swept into the foyer. For the next hour, they filled our living room with joy, love, and praise and our table with food they had thoughtfully prepared and presented. These lovely ladies shared songs of praise in Chinese and English. Their gentle, multilingual prayers enfolded and rested upon us like the wings of the Almighty. We are still eating and drinking the nourishment they provided.
The most remarkable aspect of the whole evening is that I had never met any of these women before. One of their number works alongside my husband during the week. Through him, she came to this blog; through her, the other women came to know of us and the challenging stretch of terrain we've been walking with my chronic illness flare. Simply because we are part of the same body of Christ and they believe that when one part suffers, the whole body suffers, they brought their prayers to us and poured the love of God into our lives and home for an evening. They asked for nothing in return except a song at the piano, which I happily was able to provide.
That evening gave me the most profound experience of grace--unmerited, abundant favor--I've had in a long time. Never have I felt so accepted and loved by a group of new acquaintances. They may have arrived as strangers, but they left as friends, as sisters.
Yes, grace visited our home Friday night, and the fragrance lingers still.
From my list of God's endless gifts (#1938-1950):
~the ladies of the Friday night prayer group
~the beautiful meals they left us
~returning appetite to enjoy them
~the body of Christ in action
~antibiotics combating another sinus infection
~sleeping through the night
~a gray, blustery fall day
~husband using days off for home repair and medical appointments
~Ebony thumping his tail in his sleep, dreaming happy dreams of squirrel chasing and bacon?
~watching the caterpillar (monarch? swallowtail?) chewing on parsley leaves
~fragrant blush-pink rose from the garden
~turning the heat on for the first time this season
~opportunity for Americans to give thanks collectively this week for God's boundless gifts, the sacrifices of this country's first English settlers, and the freedom to worship openly
This may be my only post this week, due to the holiday. May God bless you with a heart overflowing with gratitude, wherever you may be.
Give thanks in all circumstances;
for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.
(1 Thess. 5:18, NIV)