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by Francie Snell
11/27/2015 / Church Life
It was three years ago when my husband Paul and I were leaving church just after the morning service. We had almost made it to the parking lot when we were intercepted by a group of young girls. They came running, then skipped and hopped to a stop on the walkway in front of us, and eagerly asked, "Can we pray for you?"
We were still strangers to the church, having attended only a few Sundays. We were searching for the church where God wanted us, unsure if this was the right place.
The five of them stood before us, waiting for our response. We hesitated, looking at each other, not sure how to answer. My first inclination was to shyly decline their offer with a polite, "No, thank you," then just walk on, passing on the golden opportunity. Yet a still, small voice told me this was a moment not to be lost on my pride, so I decided to accept their invitation. "Yes, there is something you can pray for."
With misty eyes, I shared with them the heaviest burden on my heart, the one I had carried through all the years of being a mother--the salvation of my three boys.
"What are their names?" one of them asked. "John, Jimmy and James," I answered.
The smallest one was assigned the task. "Suzie, you pray," one suggested, as the others nodded in agreement. Without hesitation, Suzie took the hands of the girls on each side of her, then waited for the rest of us to follow. In the circle of clasped hands, Suzie readied herself, taking a deep breath, closing her eyes. With a posture of prayer she focused like a skilled marksman, taking careful aim. Then with humility, she boldly led us all to the place of mercy and grace.
Her petition was a sweet song to my ears as her little voice lifted up my boys in prayer, thoughtfully naming each one. I knew the Lord was definitely listening to this one. As she spoke, I couldn't resist taking a peek to look around at the circle of mighty and marvelous petitioners. With bowed heads, closed eyes and furrowed brows, they were all on a mission, diligently rallying for our cause. I knew we were in good hands.
It had been many years since I had belonged to a church. Life had proved overwhelming, seldom allowing me a chance to take a deep breath. Commitment to a church had seemed more of an emotional investment than I was able to make, a luxury I couldn't afford. But now, God had graced our lives with peace, and I was ready to be involved with something greater than just myself.
For Paul, since becoming a Christian, finding a safe place to grow in a nurturing environment was foremost on his needs/wants list. On his early walk, he did not yet feel part of a family of believers. He wanted a special home with a camaraderie with men and women that were not only friends, but also brothers and sisters. So now, here we were, searching the Lord's will, asking: "Is this the right place for us?"
These girls' actions were telling evidence of a fostering Christian environment. Without words, they told us much about their parents: the Godly values upheld in their homes, their goals and accomplishments in teaching children about our loving Lord. Even in their youth, these girls were fine representatives of the body of Christ, formidable ambassadors of the Great King.This experience allowed us a window to see what this church was really made of.
Now we have found a group of believers, special friends with kindred hearts where the Word of God is taught and a deep sense of belonging is felt. Without reservation we can both claim that the Lord has given us the desires of our hearts: a place to learn and grow, to minister, to be with caring sisters and brothers ...to have a home.
The witness of these young girls was the first step toward recognizing that we were home.
Francie lives in the Sierra Nevada foothills of California with her husband and best friend. She loves the gift of life the Lord has given her and has a passion to write about it... for His glory.
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