This weekend our family hosted a new foster child for the weekend. This is called respite. The child comes for a short period of time between placements, or, in this case, while the "regular" foster parent(s) take a break. We were pleasantly surprised with a delightful teenage girl who fit in wonderfully in the family. This morning we took her to church. Afterward during coffee hour, I asked her what she thought of the church. She looked around and said, "Everyone . . .everyone is. . . is, so . . . .happy." She was profoundly impressed by this. As I looked around I saw the younger girls marching in a parade, some middle grade boys playing Foosball, guys chattering, people eating. I saw laughter and smiles. I saw true happiness.
Does this mean the people of the church don't have problems? No. We all have issues and problems, but for a few brief hours we are removed from it all and given a shot of happiness and joy that we can bring with us out the door and try to spread in the world. This girl had hit on it, church, God, religion, for me is happiness, joy, comfort, replenishment. Even on the darkest days I have felt His love, and on good days, I feel so blessed to reflect that love and peace to others.
I sent this girl's observations to our minister, because I thought that he should hear the compliment. We had heard the sermon and were reflecting God's love into the world. Apparently, we had internalize the sermon so well that it was immediately obvious even to someone who had only met us all once.
Praise to God! May His goodness, kindness, love, and peace flow through me. May He use my hands and guide my feet. Might my life be used to His purpose. AMEN