Saturday, March 13, 2010

Heart Talk from Susan Miller

I never know what story will unfold, or what people will cross my path to leave a memorable imprint on my heart, impact my life with the presence and power of Jesus, and thus become my “Heart Talk” for the month. Writing from my heart to your heart is always personal and “in the moment” as God reveals what He wants me to share with you. This month, it all began in the prayer garden at our church. As always, God’s perfect timing is unpredictable and unexpected.
It started with a little something I wanted to do without a lot of fanfare that would bring me joy in the midst of the great sadness I feel with the loss of my beloved Bill. In the prayer garden, there is a wall that displays individual bronze plaques--with name, date of birth and death imprinted on it--honoring those who have gone on to be with the Lord. Bill’s plaque is the most recent one placed on the wall. I thought how lovely it would be to have two large planters at each end of the wall, planted with flowering geraniums and white alyssum. I would furnish the planters, the dirt, and the flowers, take responsibility for watering them, and for changing out the flowers each season. The planter on the right side would sit beneath Bill’s plaque. Knowing how much I love to garden, I knew Bill would be pleased with my little prayer garden endeavor.
I called the maintenance department at our church, got permission to do this, and asked for someone to meet me there to help unload my car. As I walked into the prayer garden, looking for someone who would show up and help me, I saw to my surprise, two of our maintenance staff already there, busily weeding the area. I introduced myself, and told them what I planned to do. With eyes of recognition, one of the men asked, “Was it your husband whose funeral service was held here months ago? Was your husband that Bill Miller,” he said as he pointed to the plaque. “Yes, yes,” I replied, my eyes brimming with tears, “that’s him.”
There was excitement in his voice and a big smile on his face as he shared how he remembered Bill and the devotion he gave to all the men in maintenance shortly before he became so ill. He shared how much Bill’s words meant to all the men, and how he made them feel important for who they are and what they do for our church. “We still have the nails he gave each of us,” he said. (I remember so clearly the preparation and prayer that went into that devotion. Bill was excited to have the opportunity to minister to these men, and so wanted to impact their lives with Christ. He gave each one a big nail, as a reminder that every person has value in God’s kingdom, and no job is insignificant when done with an attitude of serving Christ.)
As I fought back the tears, I smiled and thanked these two men who “just happened to be there” to offer a helping hand, and an act of kindness. (They even ran a water line to my planters so I wouldn’t have to water the flowers with a watering can.) I couldn’t help but notice they had an attitude of serving, and there was a glimmer of value and significance in their demeanor as they worked…
And, I thank my God, who in His infinite wisdom and perfect timing, once again ministered to me in a most unexpected and surprising way to soothe my heart when I needed it the most.
May you too, my friends, discover God’s compassion and kindness in unexpected ways when you need it the most!

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