In my life, that’s often been the end of a prayer requesting something I wanted but probably wouldn’t get, or that I hoped to avoid and might not be able to. It was an effort at being content with less than desired.
I never thought that God means the very opposite: He wants to provide ‘way beyond what I want. That’s what happened Sunday.
I was having a party for the many volunteers and contributors to our project of helping a Congolese refugee family resettle here. I had invited that family to our church because we had started and led the project. Then I’d invited everyone to my house for a party starting with lunch.
I had prepared for a while in advance, there was a lot to coordinate, I was nervous, and I prayed for peace, calm, energy, and a heartfelt friendly attitude in the whole process. By Sunday morning, a gorgeous day after much rain, I had good feelings and was sort of prepared for “come what may.”
And it did. The refugee family arrived before all others, 3 adults short but 6 kids added – total of 18. Our pastor gave a most fitting homily, the other pastor did a spur-of-the-moment, wonderfully engaging children’s story, the children received percussion instruments, and the musicians had selected perfect songs for harmony and rhythm. That worship service was a treat!
The volunteers, as they arrived at my house, played with and responded to the children when requested, looked after the baby, and took the kids swimming in our lake after lunch. That was their highlight, and ice cream, strawberries and cookies came next.
Guests who’d never met the family interacted totally naturally with them; it was heartwarming. A little boy wanted to plant things and got to scatter and water the bean bag contents he’d poked out. Some children proudly helped one guest pick the ripe raspberries. A good outdoor game arrived for the older boys. Many women kept the baby happy and safe. One person re-dressed a little girl after the swim and took her “potty” as if she were her mother. There’s so much more for memories!
The introductory party game I had planned never happened, and the name tags got soaked with bubble fluid, but who cared?!
The adult guests did get to converse some; we had a good time. Then 6 volunteers drove the family back home (45 minutes!) while others cleaned up, totally unexpected.
I had meant to do something nice for all the volunteers and contributors; instead, I feel they did it for me. I am full of joy and gratitude, I could never have imagined such a lovely, memorable day among such a diversity of caring, compassionate people.
May God’s Will be done in the lives of many others seeking new, safe homes and community.