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An Element of Grace June 26, 2009

Posted by Michelle Knoll in Journeys.
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There’s this thing about raindrops.  When a raindrop falls into a bucket of water, it can’t help but cause ripples across the surface of the water.  And left unhindered, those ripples will reach all the way out to the edge, or rim, of the bucket.  In other words, one raindrop has the power to effect change across the whole bucket of water.

That’s pretty powerful.

When God pours out His Grace upon someone, that Grace has far-reaching effects; that is, when it falls upon a humble soul, one that will let that Grace move to others, unhindered.

Better still, two humble souls.

I have talked in the last two posts about a trip I made to Kissimmee, Florida, to see my friend Rich, and finally meet his wife, Connie.  Well, here they are, for all of you to see:

rich and connie with us at cracker barrell

We met at Cracker Barrel for breakfast on Saturday morning, and it was a meeting that I will cherish forever.  Though I don’t think I can adequately convey the thoughts running through my mind right now, I will try my best to share with you what my heart feels about these two precious servants of the Lord.

I have shared about Rich before, in the post “Welcome to Bumper-to-Bumper-ville!” . So I will say a little bit more about him here, but I want to first tell you about Connie.

It was such an honor to finally meet Connie.  See, I bake cookies for others as a way to share God’s love, and I made cookies for Rich and Connie this past Christmas.  Snickerdoodles.  And according to Rich, Connie loves snickerdoodles.   So much so that when I told him in January that I would send her a dozen snickerdoodles, Rich replied back to me, “Two, please!”  What I found out this past weekend was she was sharing them with her coworkers.  Just shows how giving she is.  🙂

While we talked at the table last Saturday morning, I mostly listened to Connie. She shared stories about their kids, and things that have happened during the past school year.  I listened to her talk of working at Disney, and describe some of the people that she has met through the years.  I laughed along with her as she described a weekend in New York City.   I paid some attention to the conversation going on between Rich and Faye, but my heart was drawn to Connie.  I listened as intently as I could, to hear her heart, so I could remember not only the things she said, but also the way she is.

I was making a memory.

The name “Connie” means “steadfast.”  And that is exactly what I saw, at a table in Cracker Barrel last Saturday.  I saw someone who loves life, and enjoys life, even though recently life hasn’t been so easy to enjoy.  I saw someone who loves her family completely, encouraging them to be all they can be.  I saw someone who has made “magic” happen through her everyday “to-do” list at work.  I saw the element of Grace, in a life lived humbly for the Lord, one day at a time. 

Grace is “a virtue coming from God” but it is also “a charming or attractive trait or characteristic” and “a pleasing appearance or effect.”  (definitions taken from “Merriam Webster Online”)  Well, I have to say, Grace resides in Connie, a woman steadfast in her faith in God. 

She smiles through the rain.  Her eyes twinkle through tears. And as the rain falls, as the raindrop impacts this humble soul, she lifts her heart and says, “as You will, Lord.”

That’s powerful.  And far-reaching. 

So, Connie, I share the following two verses, to honor you.  For even though we’ve barely met and only talked for one brief Saturday morning, the element of Grace that you carry has rippled through the waters in my soul.

“And the God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast.”  I Peter 5:10

“Therefore, my beloved brethren, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your toil is not in vain in the Lord.”  I Cor. 15:58

I didn’t get to talk to Rich much, that Saturday morning.  And it worked out perfectly, which is one of the many lessons that Rich has tried to teach me, during the last seven months.  Yes, for the last seven months, we’ve talked a lot.  And Rich has been that other humble soul, who has allowed that element of the Grace of God to be poured out upon himself, allowing it to ripple from him to others such as me.

And the lessons I have learned, the wisdom he has shared, the encouragement he has given, the gentle rebukes and the stern fatherly advice… all carry this element of Grace that can only be evidenced through a humble heart.  And I am working purposefully to remember and follow his lessons and advice, the deepest ones being “Patience!” and “it’s not so bad, even when it’s bad, and when it’s bad, that bad isn’t gonna last forever, so… it’s not so bad.”

Selah.

 That morning at the table, during a lull in conversation, I wasn’t thinking about talking to Rich, because I was sitting all the way across the big round table from him.  Well, all of a sudden I hear this familiar voice from across the table, directed straight at me:

“So what have you been up to?”

And it threw me! I wasn’t expecting that at all! So, whaddya know, I became totally speechless, at a complete loss for words.  Which I could tell Rich found humorous, because of the amused smile on his face.  🙂

“Oh… I’m just.. being.  Just… being…” says I, looking back at him, not knowing what else to say.  Later on, I scolded myself for sounding so stupid.  There were lots of comebacks I could have given him:  “Why, making cookies! What else?”  “Staring at you, like you’re staring at me, ha ha!” “Five foot… six, I think.  Or maybe six and a half.”

But then, the more I thought about it later that night, the more I realized, those few words were probably the best honor I could give him.  For the lesson he repeated to me over and over again was, “Stop trying to do it.  Just let God do it.  Don’t do; just be.”

Yes, Big Brother.  Yes, sir.  I will purpose in my heart: Just BE.

I have enjoyed baking cookies for these two, and hope to continue to do so in the future.  I also gave them simple gifts from my heart to theirs: a picture of an orchid for Connie, and a song for Rich.  Neither were of professional quality, but the only things I could offer as a way to honor them, and return some of the Grace that has rippled from them into my heart.

Thank you, Connie and Rich, for your love for all the saints.  Your humble spirits will be the vessels God will use for years to come, as His Grace flows from you both to the far reaches of the bucket in which you have been so perfectly placed.

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Comments»

1. syinly - June 27, 2009

Cookie lady, I think you should interview them after what you wrote, I think a lot of people want to know Connie and Rich, very powerful. Thank you

2. The Cookie Lady - June 27, 2009

Thank you, syinly. I appreciate your words. Blessings!


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