Saturday, February 26, 2011

Homeward Bound

Tomorrow David flies in from California and the following morning we begin the drive home.  So much has transpired in these intervening four weeks: memories made, laughter shared, irritations surmounted, grief confronted, and a sense that I have done what I could.

Please do not misunderstand.  I did not accomplish all that I would have like to do, but then when do we ever?  But God allowed me to share faith and hope, resources and strength, from time to time with those desperately in need of both.

And God also put people in my path to share their faith and hope with me, an unexpected blessing.  Take this morning, for instance.  I went down the street to a local bank to get a roll of quarters for the washer/dryer here at the hotel.

As I approached the bank doors, a uniformed officer stepped out and smilingly asked, "Are you from California?" gesturing toward my car where the rear license plate indicated just that.


"What part?" he asked with apparently genuine interest.

"Sacramento area."

"You visiting or on vacation?"

"Visiting family.  We have a relative over at Duke who has cancer."

"Me, too", he said gently.  "My mother has cancer and has been treated both here in Charlotte and over at Raleigh.  I just told her this week that she needed to exercise not just faith, but outrageous faith.  What is your family member's name?"

"His name is K."

"I'll pray for him and I'll ask my church to pray for him, too.  Meanwhile, you try to enjoy this beautiful day.  God bless you."

A complete stranger, and a uniformed officer of the law, taking the time and trouble to share his faith and assure me that he and his congregation would join us in prayer.  Amazing.

I am once again struck by the contrast between life here in the South and where I live in Northern California.  People seem friendlier, more open, and a great deal more likely to talk about their faith with just about anyone.  They are not pushy about it, just open.

I have sometimes wished to move back to the Midwest or the South, where I so enjoy the openness and warmth of the people.  But today I was reminded that wherever we are, we can choose to be more open, even if it is met with skepticism, or in California, more likely cynicism.  We are a leery, jaded bunch out there.

I have more than snacks to munch on, as we head the Buick back to Sac.  I have food for thought.  * * *

Dear Lord, Thank you for those you put in my path this past month with words of encouragement and faith.  Help me to be faithful and willing to speak a word of encouragement to someone else.

Do you think that people in some parts of the country are more open about their faith than in other areas?  Has someone spoken a word of encouragement to you this week?


  1. Praying for your family's situation. It is encouraging to meet someone like the officer. And I also find the South open and friendly. Why don't all the Christian people gather in one place? Life would be so good! We don't b/c God wants us scattered as yeast to leaven the lump. You don't know how many people in California are glad you ARE THERE b/c of your open, Christian disposition. Good post.

  2. How very true. Hubby and I were born/raised in Mississippi. We've lived all over the country since he joined the Navy and there's nothing like the south. People are more free to talk about their faith, and they seem more comfortable with who they are. It's something we've tried to teach our boys ... and just a simple "yes ma'am" gets them a lot of smiles here in the Pacific NW!

  3. I haven't spent enough time outside of California to know what people are like anywhere else. Other than the accents, I probably would have assumed we're all the same everywhere - in a hurry to get wherever we all seem to be going. I wouldn't mind finding a place to live that shared a desire to live a somewhat slower pace though.

  4. Hi Marsha,

    Awesome post, in England, people are by and large very reserved. However I have noticed here more in the countryside they are more friendly than they were in London, where I lived before. God Bless - Nita