I will never fully understand the workings of the divine fingers of my Jesus, but I so love it when allows me to see His hand so obviously that it brings a lump to my throat and tears to my eyes in unadulterated awe.
A beautiful story that’s already been told is accumulating more illustrated pages as Jesus writes another chapter. Just when you thought the ending couldn’t get any better, He comes and hands you another stack of pages, some filled in, some still blank, and you realize that the story will never really be over. There is never truly a line that reads “The End”.
Because even when death takes one life and that soul flies wild and free toward eternity, there are hundreds of other lives, other souls, left in its wake. Hearts that mourn the loss, hearts affected and impacted and loved by the one who’s gone on. There is a thread of connection and purpose that remains that will continue through generations.
But rather than continue on with this ethereal truth, I will share with you a story that illustrates God tugging at the connecting thread. Pulling so gently and deliberately that if you are watching carefully you can see its affects on the surrounding fabric…
This morning at church, my friend Judy ran up to me as I was leaving. Her hugs are a welcome part of my normal Sunday, but today was different. She looked as if she had been missing me for years and was so relieved to see me. Today there was an intensity both on her face and in her embracing arms. My first thought was that something was wrong.
“Have you talked to Ruth?” she asked. (For a reminder of who Ruth is, please refer back to my post earlier this week – July 9).
Now I was certain something was wrong. “No! What is it? Is she okay?”
The story that followed was something I had prayed for, but honestly never thought I would know the answer until I got to heaven.
I will not go into all of the beautiful details that Judy shared with me. There is no way that I could do them justice. This is her story. But I did ask permission to share the just of what she told me here on the blog because it holds a familiar thread that you will recognize. You are part of this story because you were part of a story in May.
Judy has a couple who are clients of hers. They are an older couple and for some “strange” reason that Judy couldn’t understand, she felt a particular connection to the man. A familial type connection that made no sense. She meets with clients regularly and this feeling confused her. Still, she couldn’t let it go. She found that as she talked to the couple she was using phrases that she had never said before about her faith in reference to her occupation. This, too, confused her. As the couple went to leave, the man said, “I know this is strange, but I want to hug you.” Judy said she felt the same way and offered him a warm embrace.
As he headed to the car, his wife said, “Please excuse my husband. He isn’t really himself right now. He just lost his daughter.”
Not until after they drove away did Judy realize with all the clarity that only the presence of the Holy Spirit Himself can give, that she had a connection to this man.
A coworker came upon her standing there, pale and shaken. “Are you okay?” he asked. “I think so…” was her only response.
This is when she grabbed me, looked into my eyes and said, “Jana, did you feel this way when Jesus spoke to you about Leslie Marie?” I nodded, now shaking with goosebumps myself.
Because as Judy stood there God unraveled a mystery right before her eyes. This man that she felt so connected to was, in fact, Leslie Marie’s father! Leslie Marie whom she had prayed so diligently for, for months! She had also been praying for this man, Leslie’s father, for the past six months although she had never met him, never knew who he was.
Without her knowledge, God had placed the thread in her lap through the most unlikely circumstances, weaving through the every day fabric of life.
As soon as she confirmed that this was indeed the man she thought it was, she called the couple and asked them to each get on a phone so that she could tell them a story. The story of our community at Blue Oaks praying for his daughter. The story of how Jesus used Ruth, her dear friend and mine, to connect the dots between Leslie and me.
And if you’re in the dark right now, please go back to the posts in May about the miraculous way that Leslie Marie came to Jesus just weeks before she entered eternity after battling cancer. The reason this thread is so obvious. The reason that GOD Himself is so obviously at work on a continuing story.
As Judy told the story, the tears were immense. A father’s heart for his daughter caressed by the knowledge that she was loved so deeply. That Judy knew she was in heaven.
Later, his wife (and Leslie Marie’s stepmom) asked if it would be possible if Leslie’s father could meet with Ruth and me to hear the story firsthand of Leslie accepting Jesus.
At this point, I am nearly losing my mind! What???? Would it be possible???? There is absolutely nothing in this world that I would love more than to meet with this man and tell him the most glorious story about his daughter and her newfound love for Jesus and the fact that she is enjoying eternal life right this minute!
And once again, my precious friends, this is where you come in. The part of the thread that Jesus is asking you to hold. To grab hands with me again and pray for this man and his wife and their extended family, LESLIE MARIE’s extended family, that Jesus would be so present in our time with him, and that His invitation to salvation would be irresistible.
Goosebumps and tears as I hugged Judy and Ruth this morning. Sisters bound even closer by a thread that can never be broken.
Details will follow as I get them and as I’m given permission to share. But in the meantime, thank Jesus with me for His never ending work in our lives, for the intricate, divine workings of Hands. Those Hands that every so often He places around ours to let us be part of the miracle, allowing us to intwine ourselves with the thread, to feel its pull, to see its affects.
Judy, thank you for your spiritual availability to the voice of Jesus and for placing such gracious, willing, excited hands on this thread. I absolutely love your heart and cannot wait to see where the next tug leads.
Sigh…I am spellbound by the God of wonders who invites us to join Him in this magic….
Ephesians 3:20 – Now all glory to God, who is able, through his mighty power at work within us, to accomplish infinitely more than we might ask or think.
Romans 11:36 – For everything comes from him and exists by his power and is intended for his glory.
Psalm 126:3 – Yes, the LORD has done amazing things for us! What joy!