Wednesday, January 24, 2007

God's Compassion

Happy 2007! This is Janet Detcher. As last year came to a close, I was reflecting on how amazingly God draws people to Himself ... people who, by human standards, might be overlooked or discounted. But God misses no one. He sees every life in all its darkness and in all its need, and He has compassion.

We have a couple in our church, who I'll call Tom and Daisy. (I'm telling this with their permission, by the way.) As they put it Tom and Daisy lived most of their lives as "hell-raisers." They had a rocky marriage for the first 20+ years; they raised their kids with little clue about how to do so, and had difficulty holding down a decent job.

Tom is a recovering alcoholic and Daisy was a smoker for years. But she will testify that God took that craving away the very moment she asked Him into her heart. That was about seven years ago now, and it came because someone was praying for them. That someone happened to be Daisy's sister, who I'll call Martha. Martha came to the Lord about 10 years ago. Her life was transformed and she was an immediate 'missionary-evangelist' to her friends and family.

Martha and her husband, Frank, live in Colorado. It was from there that Martha called Daisy to tell her about her new-found faith. To hear Daisy tell it, Martha was a "Jesus Freak." Daisy wanted nothing to do with it. And she told Martha so. But Martha's burden for Daisy and Tom would not be quieted.

Martha and Frank had come to Kanner Lake for a visit, met up with Bailey at Java Joint, and asked about a good, local church. Hank and I were on vacation when Martha and Frank were in town, but Bailey told her about New Community Church, and shortly after that I got a letter from Martha, telling me about Daisy and Tom, and asking if we'd visit them.

We did. We were received tentatively. They thanked us for our visit but made it clear that they were not interested in church.

Well, that was then, and this is now. Today, in spite of Tom's now-good-paying job as a mechanic, (thanks to a wonderful businessman in our church), he and Daisy have chosen to remain in their long-time neighborhood so they can be LIGHT to the hopelessness they see there everyday.

For the past 4 or 5 summers, Daisy has enthusiastically hosted a backyard Vacation Bible School. She goes door-to-door, handing out the invitation flyers and little gifts for every child. I've personally seen as many as 30 children attend VBS at Miss Daisy's. Other days, there are as few as a dozen.

But you know, the important thing is that every child is hearing that Jesus loves them. Every child is hearing, maybe for the first time, that he or she is important to someone. That he matters. That she is beautiful. That there can be more than what they can see or imagine. Daisy's heart is to direct a child toward God's best, speaking the Truth that God has a plan for his or her life. She wants them to avoid the pain that she and Tom lived for so many years. A life apart from God can be that--full of disappointment, with a dull, lifeless ache in the pit of your stomach. Of course, there is sometimes pain in a life lived with God, but there is also peace that comes only from having Him walking with us in that pain. That is something you can’t find anywhere else.

What would our world be if there were more Daisys? On the other hand, maybe you are simply the water for the Daisy in your life. If so, give it all you've got. We are the hands and feet of Christ to a hurting world. We are all a critical part in God's plan to reach the lost. Tom and Daisy are precious examples of what God can do when His people pray.

I pray that 2007 will be your year of answered prayer. That you will pray as you have never prayed before. And that God will answer in ways you never dreamed possible. He can, you know.

Read "My Journey Toward a Trusting Heart," the blog by the author of this post.

Posted by Bailey Truitt @ 7:00 AM
Thanks for these words, Janet.
Posted by Anonymous Cindy M. : 1:18 PM
Hey, Janet! Happy new year! And, ahem, nice post.
Posted by Anonymous "Daisy and Tom" : 1:19 PM
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