We waited in line, this writer sister of mine and I.
We looked at each other a bit nervously, reading in each other’s eyes the question.
“Do we really want to do this? To her?”
We have felt a bit of the pressure put on people who write books. And we didn’t want to put it on her.
But Gretta clutched the book to her chest, and I saw the determination in her eyes.
It was a once in a life time opportunity, to meet this well know author,
who had touched both of our lives so deeply.
Spoken the words we only grappled for.
I have always been an optimist. Life is meant to be enjoyed, and lived to the fullest.
When my dad died, my world began to crumble.
Then a court case. Life in hiding. Being found, thrust into the world of lawyers and judges.
But the worst, oh the most soul shattering was the day that my brother, my best friend, was sucked under in a whirlpool. In the dark waters of the Lempa River in Honduras.
It was there, at the rocky river’s edge, I cradled my month old son,
and listened to the roar of the water that had taken Isaac from me.
While waiting for the body to be found, my heart choked out the words,
“God, you can’t do this.
How much do you demand of me?”
And thus the journey of hard questions, knowing God was good but really wondering how, began.
It was long. Hard. Bleak. But he was always there.
But she knew, this author. Her life too had held its share of tears.
Her sister’s blood spilled in the gravel by an seemingly unnecessary accident.
Life was hard. Full of these moments of not understanding.
But she found the treasure.
The treasure of joy in the little moments.
Of speaking honestly, even when it is not popular.
She spoke my heart when I could only cry.
And here she stood, in front of us.
Our turn now, we introduced ourselves.
I floundered. And squeaked out some thanks for…
For freeing me to write what was on my heart.
It sounded lame, and tears pounded my eyes, she wrapped me close, squeezing her eyes shut too.
I looked. Gretta was blinking too.
Strangers, yet we were in a tight hug. Tears shared.
Her arms squeezed us tightly. She whispered a prayer.
I don’t remember a word of it, but that it was the oil of understanding.
A taste of heaven.
The hands that had written such comfort to my heart now held me close.
The energy exchanged as she shared a few moments with us. Spoke. Listened.
Noticed Gretta’s book and said, “May I please sign your book?”
Her pen flowed over the paper, her name signed, and then she placed her hand over it and her eyes closed.
Lifting us to God.
It was over so soon, this moment face to face with her.
But we walked away, stunned.
Stunned at the profound love she poured on us.
Stunned at the energy.
Stunned at the overwhelming knowledge that we had been pulled close by Jesus.
My theme this month.
My broken places are simply channels through which Jesus can flow.
It’s breathtaking, this receiving Jesus poured on me through others shattered pieces.
Thank you Lord, for those who are willing to be used.
To touch lives, when it takes time, willingness and sacrifice.
To find joy in You, in these little moments.
Thank you, Lord.