Friday, May 8, 2009

Amen!

Bret recently wrote a post on his blog entitled "When Weariness is Sacred". In it, he just comes right out and confesses how tired and weary he is/we are. It had just been yet another hard week, this time involving a "failed" trip to Chick-fil-a. If you haven't read it, you should. I'm betting you've felt that way before and can relate...and hopefully you'll find some encouragement.

Well no one really said anything about it...until we got a package in the mail yesterday.

Here's how Bret explained it:

Sometimes I get worked up about stuff...

I take something which has personal significance, put effort into preparing it, risk being misunderstood or taken advantage of and put it out for other people to see. Then I sit and wonder if anyone cares.

My previous post,
"When Weariness is Sacred", was one of those experiences and this time we received a very powerful response to our story of weariness.

Yesterday on Christ Journey Life I posted most of a letter I received from an out-of-state friend. It came in the mail Thursday morning and Rachel called me in tears in the middle of my formation group to read it to me. She doesn't usually do that...


The letter:

May 4, 2009

Dear Bret and Rachel,

You guys are so much in my thoughts…and prayers. I would love come visit Christ Journey and see your faith in practice there. You’re both just such a blessing to everyone you come in contact with. That’s why I felt so bad when I read Bret’s post on “Sacred Weariness.” When you’re sacrificing and giving all you’ve got, and yet things seem to conspire against you, I know it’s disheartening. I also knew that God would soon refresh your tiredness and renew your minds in a way I could not. Still, I wished there was something I could do to lighten your hearts.

Friday I had to run some errands, and I passed by Chick-fil-A on the way home. On a whim (?), I turned into the parking lot and went inside. I was thinking maybe they would let me buy some of those “tickets” you tried so hard to win for Harvest House. I approached the girl at the counter and started trying to explain what I was asking for, but I wasn’t doing a very good job of it. It was early afternoon and there were no other customers just then, so some of the other staff walked over to listen to the conversation. Eventually, one of them went to the back to get the manager, and when he arrived, I started all over again, trying to explain what great people you are and how you had driven to Austin to try and win tickets for the food bank, and all the things that had gone wrong that week… By that time there were about a dozen people, customers and staff, gathered around listening to the story. The young manager said, “Wait just a minute and let me see what I can do.” While waiting for him, all the other people joined the discussion, asking me questions, and giving me a chance to talk about how wonderfully God works. We were just having a big old love fest right there in the middle of Chick-fil-A!

After several minutes the manager came back and said, “I can give you 25 of the coupons.” I said, “Oh my gosh, I wasn’t asking you to donate them; I just thought maybe I could buy some.” He said “No, it’s my pleasure,” and everyone around the counter burst into applause. It was just such a good feeling! I thanked him profusely and promised him that I would tell everyone I know about how generous Chick-fil-A is! So…enclosed you will find 25 tickets for Harvest House. I know it’s not as many as if your whole group had won tickets in line, but it’s still 25 meals for 25 people who might no t have a meal otherwise.

I wanted to tell you all this so you will know that your “failure” in Austin wasn’t really a failure at all. It opened up the door for the Chick-fil-A folks here to do a good things and others to witness it, and it allowed me, in a very natural way, to be a witness for God’s goodness. I’d say your “failure” was quite a success.


Now what else can you say to that besides a simple, yet heart-felt and teary "Amen!" God is so good.

**Actually though, Bret of course came up with something good to say to that: It is truly amazing the way that God can take the refining fire of our struggles and use them to bring about moments of clarity and beauty. I do not believe that God is in the business of causing frustrations so that he can teach us - that understanding of "God's plan" seems a bit off. However, I very much believe that God can and does work through any situation, no matter how trivial or tragic, to bring about the restoration of life, light and hope. I rejoice that a small piece of that process is being experienced here in our midst...and far away in the lives of others. - Bret

3 comments:

BooBoo said...

"Wow!" That's all she could say. "Wow!"

Heidi said...

LOVE IT!! Thanks so much for making me cry and allowing me to see the Spirit working through ya'll and others you are connected to!

Rachel said...

i'm crying too - awesome!! just plain awesome!!