The Christmas lights were beautiful at this hotel in Nashville, TN. It's a cool place. The Grand Ole Opry is right next door and country music plays 24 hours a day. We went to lunch before leaving and met Chelie, our good-natured waitress. When Joe asked her how she was doing today, she replied: "I'm good and I'm blessed." Joe was having a rough day, missing Joey a lot, and feeling really discouraged. He asked her how she was blessed, because he needed to hear that. She was a little taken aback, and stammered out a response to the effect that no matter what happens in her life she is blessed.
A few minutes later, she returned to our table with the water and explained herself further. She said she always says the same thing--"I am good and I am blessed" when people ask her how she is, because she feels God takes good care of her thru good and bad, and she wants to honor Him no matter what is going on in her life. She said Joe was the first person who had ever asked her how she was blessed.
She went on to say that she had her problems and that even today she had no home to go to when her work day ended. She was a single mom of five, and had given notice on their place because it was not a safe place to raise her kids. She didn't have enough money for her first and last month's rent in a new place, but she knew she had to get her kids out and was just trusting that God knew and would take care of them. She said miracles happen every day.
Joe told her about losing our son 6 months ago and his deep grief over that. She listened compassionately and then told him she had lost her own mother not long ago and understood the feelings of loss.
She told us about her children, and that she was really proud of them because they live very simply, but never complain about it. They don't even have a car, choosing instead to walk to the market, and hitch a ride to work with friends to save that expense. Her oldest daughter had just finished boot camp with the Air Force. She was very content with her life...all she needed was a home for her kids. She knew God was going to meet that need for them and she didn't know how but she was just going to trust Him for it.
Her peace was contagious, and her faith was encouraging. The more she talked about her faith and trust despite her circumstances, the more encouraged we got. As she walked away, Joe and I looked at each other and instantly knew what we were going to do....and we did exactly what you would do if you were given the opportunity!
Her joy spread to us, and we left with smiles on our faces, having received our own little miracle for the day.
Monday, November 24, 2008
Posted by Liza Pierce at 10:00 PM