Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Encouragement (among believers) (11/08/07)
TITLE: For Lela, from God, with Love.
By Karen Petty
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Coffee toting stragglers rushed this way and that as Lela unloaded her heavy burden onto the desk in the small music room, just off the sanctuary. The pages of festive melodies would have to be dealt with later. Rehearsal for the morning worship would need to begin soon and it was Lela’s job to do just that. She had taken the time to pray before selecting the songs for today’s service. Lela had also prayed that hearts would come prepared to seek God and that God himself would meet them there.
Lela was a bright and talented woman. She wasn’t boisterous but could be considered outgoing, as she was more than welcoming to all whom she met. Not only was she the pastor’s wife, and music director, but she was also very active in ladies fellowship and taught periodically on Wednesday nights when there was a need. In addition to the many hats she wore as part of her church, she was also employed as an accountant at a local law firm. Lela worked hard to make the most of what little time she had with her husband and two precious children. However, she had known from the beginning that many times both worlds blend together for families in the ministry.
The service began and ended. While Lela’s world scarcely slowed often, time spent in worship was a real rest to her spirit. Despite the foreknowledge of the morning sermon’s content, the scriptures had leapt off the page for Lela. She had needed them to. Lela was happy, and happy to be serving. Yet sometimes, she wondered if people just assumed at her kind demeanor that everything was ok with her. And it was ...for the most part. She was not a complainer. Still, she was human, and sometimes just wanted time with Christian friends or even to be able to sit in a class, rather than teach it. “Lord, I sure could use a break or a friend or both” she whispered.
By this time, most of the congregation had gone. Lela and her husband locked the church doors as the final cars drove away from the parking lot. She and her family would have lunch at a restaurant today. This was something that they had decided to do for themselves one a week and Lela looked forward to it.
She slid down into the passenger seat of her mini-van and waited as her husband made his way to the vehicle. Lela leaned over to buckle her seatbelt and noticed something sticking out from the top of her bible. Pulling the first section of pages back, she lifted up a small yellow envelope. Inside was a note card with a drawing of tulips in full bloom on the front.
“Mrs. Lela,” she read. “I’ve been meaning to tell you for a long time how much I enjoy the songs that you put together for church each Sunday. They bless me so much. And so do you!” Lela read on. “I would love to have you over for coffee or we could go grab a bite to eat & just chat if you like. Our boys seem to get along well. Maybe they would like to play while we visit together. Just let me know when would be a good time for you and we will work something out. Love, Rachel”.
A tear slid down Lela’s cheek. She and Rachel had ridden together on bible quiz trips for their children and had gotten along so well. They were like minded women, and just seemed to click with little effort. God had known that she needed encouragement, this week.
As she slipped the card back into the envelope, she noticed some writing on the back. It was a quote from Matthew 7:11: “If you then being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask.”
“What’s that?” her husband said, as he sat down and closed the van door. “Oh,” said Lela. “Just a present from God”.
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