"Let the words of my mouth, and the meditations of my heart be acceptable in thy sight, O Lord, my Strength, and my Redeemer." Psalm 19:14

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Monday, November 12, 2007

A November Brunch



I have been going to the lunches, brunches or whatever in what ever city
I'm in for over 25 years now. I've never won a door prize. For the past
five years I've been taking my mother in law with me as she lives with me
now. So far she's won 3 times. She won again this month. Our Special
Feature (our drawing card) was flower arranging by a local florist and
he was very good. He did this arrangement first and then did two more.
It is all live plants so it won't last until Thanksgiving but I'm in hopes
Amy will be able to replace it with lovely new ones for our centerpiece.

The focus of our monthly meetings each month is a presentation of a
testimony which will include a clear presentation of the gospel.
I had heard this month's speaker several times over the years and she
is very good. The first time I heard Maureen was the most memorable
and she remembered it as well.

I'll go back a few years - about 17. Matthew was about 10. My next door
neighbor was a new Christian, having come to Christ at a brunch only a
few months previously. She had a young (about 18 month old) little girl
who had mild birth defects. I was Chairman of the Club the morning of
the brunch that morning that summer and they were going to ride with us.
Our nursery was going to be full with her little girl and my 3 kids.
I was about ready to go and I sent Matthew, my oldest, over to get her.
He came running back and said, "Mama, something is really wrong over there!".
I went out to see and fire trucks were in front of the house. I immediately
went over to see what was wrong. Her baby - her beautiful little girl -
was dead in the bed that morning. They ruled it a SIDS death. It was
devestating. We never made it to the brunch that day. I called a woman
I knew who had lost two sons to cystic fibrosis and she came much to my
relief. She was of great help. It was one of the hardest funerals I've
ever attended.

The next month my neighbor came to the brunch. Maureen was the speaker.
Maureen, unknown to us who had not yet heard her speak, had had a SIDS
baby. When she got to that part of her story my dear neighbor friend got
up and ran out of the brunch. I was so hurt and cried. I didn't know what
to do. It turned out she didn't leave. She stood in the doorway and listened
to the rest of Maureen's very hard but wonderful story of God's grace and
mercy. Maureen spent the rest of the afternoon ministering to my friend.
Many tears were shed and words spoken. I know my friend was able to be honest
in her feeling of rage against God and Maureen was able to tell her that those
feelings were entirely normal. I know that helped. I wasn't able to listen
to it all (nor should I have!).

Well, now here we were 17 years later and Maureen actually remembered me.
She asked and I was able to tell her that my neighbor no longer lives next
door. She's remarried (a death like that is rough on a marriage) but she
now has 4 children. Maureen left with a big smile. I think I made her day.

God is good. All the time. I hope her story touched many at the bruch this
week. Maureen has cancer now and is taking chemotherapy. If you think of
her, say a prayer.
Chris

5 comments:

Laura in MO said...

Chris -
Your post had me laughing and then crying. Laughing because in my family it is well known that if there are 25 door prizes to be won and only 26 people in the room, "I" will be the one who doesn't win a door prize!
Then, crying at your powerful story of how God works in such wonderful and mysterious ways.
Wow -
Laura in MO
from SHS

Emily said...

Praying for Maureen!

De'Etta said...

Praying for Maureen...and loving how God has used your involvement in these Bible Studies over the years.

How fun that Rita keeps winning!

amyelizabeth said...

i got a postcard from one of your old lady friends telling me about the next brunch! haha.

it was sweet though, so don't tell them to take me off the list. i'll come when i can. like in december.

Cynthia said...

What a touching story, Chris. Thanks for sharing.