Today has been a particularly magnificent day. The weather was just gorgeous. We did a lot of yard work this afternoon and thoroughly enjoyed the time outdoors. There are several highlights that will make this a memorable day, but one particular lesson will stick with me forever.
Service this morning was just awesome. Then Pastor J Mark preached … I mean PREACHED … a really strong message on the “power of the Resurrection.” There were at least two saved and a couple of dozen responded to the alter call. You leave a service like that flying pretty high.
On the way to the parking lot, Craig told me that a friend of our daughter who had come to service with us today was one of the two that were saved. After we dropped the young lady at her house, Chelsey announced that she wanted to get some money so she could buy her newly-saved friend a Bible for a birthday present. Today just happens to be that young lady’s birthday.
After lunch, I handed Chelsey an envelope that arrived in the mail for her from her grandparents – a belated birthday card with money inside. As soon as she opened and removed the money, she declared, “we have to go get my friend a Bible today – it’s her birthday!” So we took a trip to the store and looked through the selections on the shelf. I had a particular translation in mind for readability and had a Bible picked out quickly, and at a price that would leave Chelsey some change from her birthday money.
But she wasn’t satisfied.
She showed her choice to me and - as I live and breathe - my jaw nearly dropped at her words. “Mom, it’s got to be ENGAGING! [I had to stop and look at her and make sure this was my 16 year old actually using that word. Thanks, Pastor Mark!] That’s a nice Bible, but THIS one is good for teenagers. It’s got these little things to read [she was pointing to the sidebars] and all this other interesting stuff [pointing to the study notes] that will HELP her and keep her ENGAGED.”
Well, shut my mouth. [I did.] I noted that the price of the Bible she chose was exactly the amount she got for her birthday. She was a little disappointed that she wouldn’t be able to afford a devotional book to go with the Bible, but I told her I’d cover it. So we go to the rack with the devotional books and, once again, she picked the right one. [I’m starting to feel a little useless here....]
Chelsey has always been the kid that uses her birthday and Christmas money to buy something for someone else. The other kids spent their money on their own desires so fast that you’d wonder if the cash ever even made it to their pockets for a brief moment.
Now, the thing about all this that really stumps me is: This isn’t normal. Humans aren’t wired that way. After the fall in the garden of Eden, humans became infested with a sin nature, and selfishness ruled all future generations – even from birth. As Pastor J Mark says, “if you don’t believe that, watch your little darlin’ playing with a toy. Then see how he reacts when another little darlin’ wants to play with the same toy.” Yes ma’am, it’s ingrained in our psyche.
But how come there are people like Chelsey? People who’s natural bent is to be generous with all they have, to always be the peacemaker, to always defend the accused, to always try to find even one good thing about someone who has wronged them. I don’t know about you, but that’s not my natural bent. I have to fight selfishness on a regular basis. I stand in awe of those to whom generosity and self-sacrifice comes as easily as breathing. They are the true heroes of this age. God must have spent a little extra time on these precious souls - they are the ones that give me pause to consider my own motivations.
In a few years, I will most likely be corresponding with Chelsey via the internet (or whatever new technology we have then) as she labors as a missionary at an orphanage in the Philippines or Honduras or wherever God calls her.
As a mother, there are so many lessons that I try to teach my daughter, hoping that someday she will remember and apply the truths she was taught in her youth.
The table has turned. Today, she taught me.