Thursday, September 22, 2016

When Hope Came to Hope

Sam Wiley and I were assigned to greet the visitors at church last night, escort them into the food line, and help them to a table. It was "No Strings Attached" Meal Night. Visitors in our neighborhood had received invitations on Sunday.

We had a grand time and met some of the sweetest people imaginable. One lady's name was Hope. She's been living in our town for several months. She's moved here from up north, where she'd lived for the last few years, taking care of her daddy. 

One morning, she awakened to a terrible new reality. She had lost her hearing. Many doctors had examined her. No one could find the cause. No one could find a solution. She'd been on the waiting list for sign language classes for four years, but her turn had never come.

Eventually, she moved to Tupelo to be near her son. She'd passed Hope Church numerous times and wondered if it was the kind of church that she could attend. She'd been praying for a home church for a while. When the invitation arrived Sunday, she thought, just maybe, her prayers were being answered.

As we walked toward the back of the building to the dining area, she told me about the waiting list for sign language class. 

"We have sign language classes here," I told her. "They just started a couple of weeks ago."

"Would you say that again?" We both had tears in our eyes as she read my lips one more time to be sure she'd understood.

"We have sign language classes here. They're free. You can come." I spoke slowly. "Hope, you're not here by accident. God brought you here."

She nodded and blinked back tears. "I think He did, too."

We went through the line to get her food and headed into the gym to find her a table. Kelly King, who teaches sign language, was seated at a table across the room. There was an empty seat next to her. 

I introduced Hope and Kelly, gave Hope a hug, and headed back to my welcoming position, grinning all the way.

Hope had come to Hope and we had seen the orchestration of God in a fresh and beautiful way.

Today, slow down and look around you. God is doing more than you know. In you. Through you. For you. Watch for His hand at work and join in where you can.

You never know when God might bring Hope your way. When He does, it will be a perfect fit.

"'For I know the plans that I have for you,' declares the Lord, 'plans for welfare and not for calamity to give you a future and a hope.'" Jeremiah 29:11 nasb
In case you missed it, here's the link for yesterday's post: The Interloper, The Charging Dog, and the Clear Glimpses of God They Gave
#hope #hopechurch