And God showed up...again.
I want to say first that I've gone through a whole lot of valleys within the last 10 - 12 years. You don't leave a son of your heart 300 miles away without knowing that life is changing big time. But God has always shown up. Whenever times are hard He always - always - shows up.
New Hope has gone through some tough times lately. Maybe it's a time of testing. We've lost families who are military through PCS'ing and other moves for employment. We've lost families because of their own needs to care for elderly parents. And, we've lost families to bigger venues. But, God has always shown up.
Losing families means a loss of teachers, singers, leaders, and friends. It's also a loss financially. But, God has always shown up.
Today, God showed up in such a tender way that I was brought to tears. One of the dearest things to my heart about New Hope is their open loving hearts toward my piano students. I have my students, no matter what level of playing they are at, play the offertory whenever possible. It's incredibly sweet. Or, maybe it's just sweet to me because I know how hard they work on each piece. New Hope has listened to little boys and girls play all sorts of music, not always "proper church music" and supported and each time applauded their musical offering.
One such student is a lovely sweet little Catholic girl. She, and her whole family are Catholic by infant baptism. I always pray with my students before each lesson - nothing big or elaborate - just a simple little prayer thanking the Lord for the child and his/her family and asking for His blessing on them. This little girl's daddy is military. Today after her lesson, her mother told her to run wash her hands while she talked with me. She told me that her husband was about to be deployed for a year and she was staying here by choice. There's another child and school is an issue. She's done this before and is strong and knows she can do it again. Her family is so close; I love seeing the interaction between my sweet student and her older sibling - the protective nature is incredibly tender.
This family doesn't attend church at all except when the child plays offertory. So, they've heard the Word preached maybe 4 or 5 times over the past couple of years. But, today, I learned how much of a difference that can make. Today, I learned how much of a difference New Hope can mean to a family.
This husband told his wife, "While I'm away, if you need anything, you know that the church, New Hope, will help you. I know this." God just showed up. God just showed up in a big way for New Hope and I pray that every single person within her walls knows this. He is alive and working even when not everyone sees.
I know this.