Thoughts on life from Pat Oaks
Several years ago we lived in New York City. We had lots of company! I always told people who came to visit that if we got on the train to go somewhere and somehow they didn't make it on before the door closed, they should just stand on the subway platform and I would get off at the next stop and come back and get them.
About two weeks ago I had a dream. I was in NYC and several of my friends were visiting. We all got on the train and as the doors closed and the train pulled away from the station, I looked out the window and one of my friends was not on the train. "Oh no", I thought. "My friend didn't get on the train!" Then I thought to myself, "No problem. I will just get off at the next stop and go back and get her." Then, in my dream, all of a sudden I thought, "No, I can't go back and get her." It was a strange dream and the next morning I told Tommy and John boy about it.
The next week I got word that my dear dear friend of many many years had died suddenly. She was not a believer. She was the one in my dream who did not get on the train.
(Read account of Noah and the great flood in Genesis chapters 6 and 7. Especially chapt. 7 verse 16.)
Once upon a time there was a tiny little weed growing in "the people's" yard.
"How I wish 'the people' would let me grow big and tall like the flowers in their yard," he thought to himself. "I don't take up much space, and I would try my best to be big and strong and bring lots of smiles and happiness to 'the people' if only they would give me a chance!"
So, "the people" seemed to hear the little weed, and left him alone to grow and to become what weeds were intended to become...tall and strong.
The flowers in the garden across from the little weed started to get jealous because of all the attention he was getting.
Every day "the people" checked on the progress of the little weed, and sure enough, he grew and he grew all summer long, Every time "the people" walked by the little weed, who was now becoming a BIG weed, they smiled and even laughed at how big and strong the little weed was becoming. His wish was coming true. He was indeed bringing happiness to all those who walked by him every day.
So, if you feel like you are merely a weed in the garden of God, take heart. Even a weed can bring joy to those around him!!
This past weekend we went to a tiny little town in Southwest Virginia called Dot. It truly is a Dot on the map. We have been going to this church for 23 years every August. The first year we went, we had maybe 20 people in attendance, but I am thinking that it wasn't even that many!
This past weekend, the church was packed! I don't think there was a seat left in the room. There were people there who were there 23 years ago, but there were also lots of new faces! The new faces were mainly young families with children! What a blessing! This church believes in keeping the children in the service too. No kids church for them! I love that. I don't know when we started separating the children from the older people, but I don't like it. Old and young need each other. I saw several of the older generation interacting with the kids and it was beautiful. That's the way it's supposed to be!
We stayed with our friend Kay. I wrote about her husband Hank awhile back. He went to be with the Lord this past year, and there was a huge hole where he always sat. I missed him giving the communion meditation too. In fact, I kept looking for his smiling face everywhere, because he seemed to be everywhere in that building.
I wonder sometimes about the hole I will leave. All of us should wonder that. When something is going on around us whether in the church building itself, on the grounds or in the community, do we spot certain faces in the activities surrounding us?
When I am out on the street among the homeless, it is rare that I don't think of Maxine, who started the Lost Sheep Ministry. I see her interacting with the homeless in a way that I will never be able to do. I want to live in such a way that even when I am gone, my presence will remain.