Friday, November 02, 2007

with a grateful heart

Although I'm thankful for all of my co-workers, today I want to tell you about Eric. He works in our reference department and is a great liaison with the students. Eric is a lot of fun and is a gifted musician, but rather than writing a lot about him, I'm going to share an email that he sent this morning. I think it shows his heart and you'll see why he is such a blessing to everyone who comes in contact with him.

A 92 year-old lady from my church, who I consider a good friend, died last night at 2a.m. If she made it through the night I was going to visit her this morning, but they didn't expect her to and they were right. Her going was really a blessing, so I'm not that sad about it, but I just wanted to share about this lady. She had lost her sight years ago and has been in a wheel chair for the last 4 years that I've known her. She also lost her husband about 30 years ago. Since then she has been praying that God would take her soon, not because she was depressed, but because she just had gotten to the point where the people she loved most were with the Lord and she knew she'd rather be with Jesus than stay here. She was full of life and joy every time I saw her; and though she couldn't see me, she always knew who I was and when I was coming over towards her way before I'd get there so that she could greet me before I said anything. She loved worship more than anything else, and she loved to warm my hands up with hers on the mornings when it was cold.

She had gotten to the point in life where all she would say was "God bless you" or 'praise God' or how much she loved this or that. In telling somebody that last night, I thought to myself that I hope I get to that point in life pretty soon before I'm old and blind people dismiss a lot of what I say. Like kindness: we know kindness should just naturally flow out of our lives, but yet we have days for "random acts of kindness" where we are kind on purpose because we know there is benefit in doing kindness purposefully and not just waiting until it happens accidentally. By purposely doing it, it might become part of who we are and then just naturally flow out of us. I believe we can do that with what comes out of our mouths, blessing people and blessing God being the purpose for which we have a voice at all, and a tongue and mouth to form and project that voice. Hounds have noses created by God for the purpose of keenly smelling anything around them. In smelling things out, they fulfill part of the purpose for which they were created and so glorify God. Our tongues were created by God to bless Him and other people and to bring life. If we don't use them in that way, we're not even good animals, like a hound that won't use his nose for the purposes it was created.

I say all this to challenge myself and you to (on purpose) use our tongues to bring life and bless God and others through faith filled words. Love,

Next semester, he's leaving his full time job here to return to full time graduate work in order to become a certified ESL instructor. God has called him to work with Hispanic immigrants and this is the path he's taking to do that. We will miss him, but I know the world will continue to be blessed with his presence.

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