A Tiny Taste of Favor

Monday, April 9, 2012

I wanted to write so badly this afternoon so I wouldn't have to do it tonight after getting home from a very, very long day. But I had nothing to write about, and even as I sought the Lord in prayer for words to say, nothing came.

Now, as I write to you in my sweat pants with a warm cup of decaf coffee in hand and a bowl of cereal nearby, I know exactly why I had nothing to say today....it's because He would provide me with a sweet story tonight.

These are the little things I want to remember. The small things He does on a daily basis that I want to play into my bigger story. I don't want to forget all the small details He lines up for me.

I honestly don't know if this small encounter will play into my story one day or not, but I like to believe that it will. It was encouraging to me tonight, and so I feel like I should share.

Here's the shortest version I can come up with:

Tonight our church hosted an event called Open Door. It's an event we host every couple of months to help newer members of our church get plugged in and learn about how our church was started and the truths that we stand behind, etc.

Anyway, I've been numerous times, and usually I don't go anymore. But lately I dread nights when Brian is not home. It's just hard to feed and bathe and put four little ones to bed by myself.

So, I started to weigh my options:

Option #1: Go to church. Drop the kids off in free childcare (where they feed them dinner!). Sit for an hour and a half through our Open Door experience without anyone throwing food at me while I eat a free dinner. Have adult conversation. And head home about the same time as Brian to tackle bedtime together.


Option #2: Stay at home by myself with four kids. Cook dinner. Dodge flying food from the high chair area of the kitchen. Do baths. Do bedtime. All by myself.

I chose Option #1. It just started to sound very good.

So we headed to church, and I served as a table host or something like that. I'm not really sure. I basically just talked to people and made them feel welcome.

The night went well, and right about the time it was time for everyone to leave, I struck up a serious conversation with the man sitting next to me.

I'm guessing he was in his early sixties. Not sure. I'm bad about ages, but nonetheless, he started to tell me his story.

He told me that he and his wife were excited to be a part of this church. He said they were just waiting for what God had next for them. His wife is a teacher. He is a teacher's aide, and they are both retiring at the end of the semester.

He spent previous years of his life as a pastor and ordained minister, but said that he became so worn down by the legalist laws of some churches. He said he never really knew what grace was.

He went on to say that he met a man a few years ago who had spent the last ten years of his life studying grace. And it suddenly occurred to him that grace is exactly what God wanted him to study.

As he began to really understand grace, he said that he read verses that he had read for years in a new way. He said it was as if he was looking down from heaven at those words instead of up from a broken world.

In the midst of his discovery on grace, the Lord led him to write a book. He said he had never written anything, and didn't consider himself a writer. But he started anyway. And he wrote a book called Grace like a River. 

The coolest part of the whole story was hearing him tell me how he is getting it published. Apparently, there is a small publishing company with a a few hundred employees in Mustang, Oklahoma, called Tate Publishing.

He walked into Tate Publishing to see if he could find out any information about having a manuscript published. He ended up talking to the owner's daughter about his book called Grace like a River.

She said she would get him in contact with one of their editors and they would go from there. That night he received an email from the owner of the publishing company telling him that the owner wanted to deal directly with his manuscript and not to worry about getting in touch with the editor he was assigned to. He also said to call anytime no matter how late.

So he called, and the owner was so excited that he wanted to read his manuscript immediately. He sent it over via email and by 11:30 that evening, my new friend had a contract to have his book published. How stinking cool is that?!

Now, yes, that is a cool story, and I am very excited to read this book once it if off the presses, but it also gave me a little insight.....you see, I know that the Lord has placed a book somewhere inside me. I've never once talked to a single person who has written a book. Ever.

I have no clue what it will be about or who will want to read it. I can't even imagine a title for it. I think about it a lot. What would I want the take away to be? Because I want there to be take away. I don't want to write a book that doesn't mean anything to anyone.

I didn't know there were local publishing companies (yes, that's how naive I am). I also don't know anything about writing a book, but tonight the Lord placed an ordinary man in front me who also didn't know anything about writing a book and is now having one published.

It was simply a night of hope for me. To look into this man's eyes and hear him talk about the adventure his life has been simply because he has lived a life following the leadership of the Lord was refreshing to me. To hear him tell me that he acted on the things the Lord put on his heart (even if they were foreign and hard) was exactly the message of hope I needed tonight.

I don't know if I'll ever walk into the doors of Tate Publishing or not. But I do know that I met a man tonight who gave me a glimpse into my future. It was a beautiful story about a tiny bit of favor in his life that spilled over into mine.

Oh Lord, You are so sweet! These little things make me smile. Thank You for lifting my heart and my soul today. You are so so good.

....day 241 of a year of writing.....

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