Funny how you have little control over what you’ll remember decades down the road….
I was a 20-something, single and living in Atlanta, attending a bible study at Mount Paren Church led by a guy who flew in from Alabama. I was critical of that, the flyin’ in part couldn’t they find someone local?–I used to judge much more harshly when I “knew” so much more–but his talks were challenging and inspiring, and I was more hungry and eager than proud and unteachable.
His name escapes me now, but the unforgettable story he told about Miss Sophia* has lingered for 25 years. Actually, it’s not even the entire story, it was the beautiful way he characterized her–
Miss Sophia was a “natural Christian, the kind where Jesus just seeps from her pores.”
Everything about Miss Sophia was consistent with the faith she professed: her service and kindness to others, her wise counsel, her countenance. Even if you weren’t a believer, he told us, you’d know there was something different about Miss Sophia. She understood how deeply she was loved by Christ and it seeded her desire for everybody she met to know that love.
But she didn’t preach it, she lived it, so intimate a relationship with God she couldn’t not share it in everyday conversation.
Right then I longed to be known like that one day.
Maddie, best friend to and one of the authors of my daughter’s Closet Epistle, reminded me of Miss Sophia the other day. She was mountain top-glowing having just returned from a mission trip to Haiti.
“I know, I know beyond a shadow of a doubt, that this will be a part of the rest of my life!” Maddie tells me, excited and brimming. She splashes joy everywhere. I’m soaking.
I hand her the graduation gift from our family and she slips a finger through a gap in the wrapping, sliding it along the taped seam and keeping the conversation going. At the last minute I included one of DaySpring’s darling totes and when Maddie sees it, reads it, she declares, “It’s another confirmation! All week long the theme of ‘trusting God’ keeps coming up, and here it is again!”
Her graduation gift is a sign from God, a reminder to trust. Whoa!
Maddie may be young but she’s well on her way to becoming a natural Christian like Miss Sophia. I have no doubt she’ll eagerly welcome the conversation when someone asks her what her tote means.
Wearing your faith for others to see doesn’t have to be showy or brash; subtle, inviting and natural…it’s the most beautiful thing you can put on.
I can’t wait to read your review posts if you signed up for one this month! It wouldn’t surprise me if our stories are very similar. Link your post below and be sure to visit a friend or two ~ and leave a comment! ~ a lovely way to encourage our community.
How beautiful! I love how God weaves our answers and His pursuit of us into the everyday. A reminder that He is omnipresent and wants to know us!
Robin Dance says
Which makes me wonder how often we MISS those things; are we always LOOKING? 🙂
Beth Williams says
Wonderfully intricate story! I, too, want to be like Miss Sophie and Maddie–just oozing God–having my actions, & apperal speak as a testimony for me!
Robin Dance says
Don’t we all…don’t we all?
Kaitlin @ Perceptions & Passions says
LOVE THIS. I swear, my kids in their toddler years are better at this than I am.
John is the man’s name from Mt. Paran church. He was also inspirational in me accepting Jesus into my life as a Senior in high school.
Thank you for the story reminder. My friend Heather oozes God too!
Stacey Dawn says
Love how she is finding the confirmation to trust Jesus. Perfect!
My heart is singing from your post. It’s the only way I can phrase it.. God bless you!