Wednesday, April 2, 2008

April Fool's Day Revisited

I went to bed late last night and dead tired, however I found that after a couple of hours I couldn’t sleep. All I could think about was April Fools Day and how wonderful God is. I spent the rest of the night praising God. I know it sounds kind of strange but there’s a personal story that I felt I should have told along with yesterday’s wonderful adventure.

When I was a Senior in High School on April Fools Day Night my brother and sister-in-law left my parents house and hit a drunk driver who was passed out in his car with his lights off in the middle of the lane as it curved around on very dark highway. The drunk driver was barely scratched. He was a repeat offender. My brother and sister-in-law were seriously hurt and my beautiful 10-month old nephew was killed. I took the call from the police that night and thought at first it was someone playing an April Fools joke. I hated April Fools day from then on because it brought up all the events of that day and the days that followed. I also felt guilty for thinking it was a joke. It was a soul shaping event for me and while it is one of the first times I remember knowing that Jesus Christ was truly with me, at 18, I sadly can’t say it changed my future behaviour for quite a few years. But I never forgot His presence and I never forgot the fear and pain of loosing one so precious in such a senseless way. I must admit the event shaped some of my over-protected and worried behaviour towards my sons and it certainly took my humor away on each 1st of April from then on.

Last year, on April Fools Day, some of my dearest friends at FUMC-RR, led my Karah Ricketts who has more energy in her little finger than I do in my whole body organized the first “Dinner With Chris” fundraising event to raise funds for me to come serve in Swaziland. Liz, Mary, Madison, Ingelore, Dan and many others helped. When the date was first picked I felt my whole body tighten and I reluctantly said OK to the date. I was so blessed that day. As I was sharing my passion with those who came I realized that God was showing me it was time to let go of the past and look to a true future with Him. He was telling me He was with me through the events that took place 39 years prior and he would be with me always especially on the other side of the world serving Him. I knew from that day on, April 1st would have a different meaning for me.

Yesterday was the 40th anniversary of that horrible accident. I still thought of the events. I still mourn the loss of that precious loved one though I know he is in heaven and that his Grandmother is now with him. I know I will see him one day. But I didn’t dwell on the events. Indeed, I even forgot about it most of the day. They were certainly far from my thoughts as I was marvelling at God’s beautiful creation and thinking “I am driving in the middle of no where, in AFRICA, in the most beautiful countryside on a perfect day with a dear friend from another continent and culture.” I wanted to shout it out as loud as I could but knew I would scare everyone to death. I could see the headlines: “White woman gone crazy in the middle of Swaziland.” It was like driving through a Hollywood set in one of those big African movies. But no, I was experiencing God’s gift. God was reminding me of his steadfast, perfect love and that beauty can be found in the middle of no where in the simplest of pleasures. The children’s smiles when we got out of the car to go look at their little informal school was one of the most precious things on earth. There is poverty, hunger, disease, corruption, absurd political bureaucracy all around. But there is hope and there is love and there is beauty. You just have to open your heart and mind to it.

Thank you for all of your support and enabling me to be here in this beautiful country learning and listening to fulfil God’s purpose for me in this beautiful country. Have a Blessed Day.

1 comment:

krosyrup said...

Gosh, Has it really been a year of doing this? We went to Chuy's the other night and toasted you! We are having dinner with the Drop's of Grace group with a couple from California on the 10th. We will definately talk about you, to you and with you!

God Bless, thanks for the story and the kudo's... i better get busy making more bookmarks for you! They go on sale again this weekend for mothers day!

Love Ya,