Monday, May 15, 2017

When We Call Upon God by Claudia Loopstra

            Have you ever experienced an answer to prayer whereby God gives you an additional measure of His grace? Nothing can fill your heart more with pure Christian joy when this happens.

            My friend, Carol Ford, and I had booked to go to a dinner theatre in Fort Meyers on the Saturday before she headed back to Canada from her visit with me in Florida.  By the time I made the reservation, there were only two seats left. I was told we would be sharing a table with six others. Mmm. I booked it.

            It had been an inspiring and exhilarating ten days as we read the bible, did devotions and spent time on our respective writing projects.  

Saturday morning, we did our devotions and prayed.  At the end of my prayer, I made this request, “Lord, please, when we sit with strangers tonight, may they be kind people.”

            That evening we arrived at the theatre and were seated with four others. Two people hadn’t yet arrived. We sat down across from one another at the far end of the table and left two seats vacant on either side of us. An envelope had been placed near us with the names Joanne and Mike written on what looked to be envelope that contained a card.

A short time later, two elderly people were escorted to our table by the server. The older woman looked anxious. The older man was holding her hand as she directed him to the table. After we introduced ourselves, the woman spoke.

 “My husband is blind. I will need to sit beside him so I can cut up his food.” Carol immediately rose up from her seat, came over and sat beside me.

            “Thank you…thank you. My name is Joanne and this is my husband, Mike. We’re celebrating our 63rd wedding anniversary.”  Carol handed her the envelope and Joanne smiled as she leaned over to read the card to her husband.

            Over the course of the next thirty minutes, we chatted. Mike told us that he had a rare disease that had rendered him blind as an adult. Married to Joanne at the time, she became his caregiver. Throughout our conversation, I marvelled at the positive attitude that both Mike and his wife exhibited.

 I wondered whether or not if I would have maintained the same positive outlook on life that Mike exhibited if I had I become blind.  Two months prior, I’d had a mini-stroke and was left with double vision in one eye. My condition lasted seven weeks. At the time, I felt much gratitude for the prayers that were prayed on my behalf.  I felt the prayers had taken the worry away and an acceptance of God’s will filled me with peace.

            After they finished dinner, I walked with Joanne to the dessert table. It was then I asked her what gave her strength as she took care of Mike.

            “I say my prayers everyday…that’s what keeps me going.”

            As we said our “good-byes” to Mike and Joanne after the performance, Joanne thanked us for being such kind people. Mike nodded in agreement. It was a humbling moment.

             The following day, I reflected on the highlight of the evening. Although, the musical had been enjoyable, the highlight had been meeting Joanne and Mike.

Later on, I recalled the prayer I had said the previous morning regarding kind people. I was overwhelmed with gratitude to God for reminding me what I needed to remember.

The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness …Gal. 5:22

 Claudia Loopstra is a wife, mother of two and grandmother of eight.
She is the author of  Redemptive Love: Living With an Alcoholic Father and co-author of As the Ink Flows: Devotions to Inspire Christian Writers and  Speakers.




Carol Ford said...

Welcome to the Blog, Claudia. Since I was with you that night, I appreciate how you have expressed our gratitude to God's method of answered prayer. Joanne and Mike were an inspiration and I like to think we also helped to be able to show God's love to them.

Peter Black said...

Thanks Claudia, and welcome. Your lovely account offers a reminder that our prayers sometimes have a way of turning upon us with gentle irony, bringing serendipitous outcomes. ~~+~~

Glynis said...

Such a lovely first post, Claudia. Your determination and perseverance, not to mention your kind and generous heart shines through. Sounds like your interaction with Joanne and Mike was a divine appointment! Lovely. Kindness begets kindness.

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