God Takes Pieces and Breathes Life into Them

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Ezekiel 37:1-3 “ The hand of the LORD was on me, and he brought me out by the Spirit of the LORD and set me in the middle of a valley; it was full of bones. 2 He led me back and forth among them, and I saw a great many bones on the floor of the valley, bones that were very dry. 3 He asked me, “Son of man, can these bones live?”

Restated: Never underestimate the power of God to create life out of lifelessness (Pastor Kathy)

There it was sitting in the back of the closet. Its uselessness was evident by the cracked and torn plastic zipper bag it had been placed in with a layer of dust gently resting upon it. You know, one of those forgotten things that was created with some purpose in mind yet never used, stuffed in the back of a closet and never really thought about again. I often wonder what would have happened if all those pieces had just remained forgotten pieces, one day to be thrown away and discarded without any use or purpose.

Instead, the Spirit moved, had its being and decided to intervene. God’s nature took over and what God did was breathe life into lifelessness. Upon investigation of the closet, she lifted the bag from the darkness into the light of the room. Inside its cracked plastic encasement, she could see multicolored squares, and rectangles of a multitude of knitting patterns as if someone had practiced a tune with many different notes in it but it didn’t really make a song.

The bag showed up at our prayer shawl ministry meeting. “These have been sitting in the closet forever. Anybody want to do anything with them? If not, I guess they’ll go back in the closet.” Now, this was a prayer if I ever heard one! How many times are we that way with God and the life God has given us? God you gave me this over here but I’ve been keeping it in the closet because to me it just looks like an old bag full of unrelated knitting squares that don’t go together so, I don’t think I’ll do anything with it because quite frankly, it seems dead to me, no life, no purpose!”

“I’ll take them!” I said without a second thought. “I know my mother in law can make a beautiful shawl out of those!” God began to breathe life into that old forgotten bag of knitted squares. God was creating purpose for my mother in law by creating what seemed like a bag of “nothing” into something that would enhance the quality of life of another human being. It would be prayed over and given to someone at a local hospital for their comfort and care.

Can these dry bones live? Can God breathe life into lifelessness? God can take the pieces of your life that have seemed useless, hiding in the back of a closet, place them together beautifully and breathe life into those pieces, making them into something you can’t even imagine for God’s purpose. The scripture talks about a valley, but not a valley where you stand alone! It’s a valley where the Lord’s hand is upon you and the Spirit of the Lord brings you out, tenderly puts the pieces together and breathes God’s breath of life into them. God’s promise: “ I will put my Spirit in you and you will live!” (Ezekiel 37:14)

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A Chance Encounter

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Acts 2: 28 “You have made known to me the ways of life; you will make me full of gladness with your presence.”

Ok, I thought I would start this blog with a joke. There was this pastor and an ex-atheist twenty-something walking down the hall one day. The ex-atheist said, “Hi, it’s nice to meet you!” They chatted for awhile and then they parted ways. Before the pastor knew it, the ex-atheist was on the pastor’s heels pursuing her in the hallway. The ex-atheist said, “oh, just one more thing, do you have a church? If not, I’d like to invite you to mine.” The ex-atheist handed the pastor a card with the name and address of the church on it. The pastor looked up with a huge grin and said, “I’m a pastor to young people just like you!” I never was good at telling jokes. And I must admit this isn’t really a joke but just a hook to get you to start reading because this really happened to me.

I live for God’s chance encounters in my life. I look for them, I’m intrigued by them and I give God all the credit for them. In the hall, a simple hello and invitation to a church would turn into a two hour heavy exchange between two people sharing their stories about how they each had an encounter with an awesome God. The ex-atheist’s story was different than mine, her experiences and responses were also different than mine and that is what kept me leaning in to the discussion. I’m all ears when it comes to learning about young people and how they see and experience the world. But more than that, I am interested in how they experience God. I was all ears.

She began to tell me her story. If you are a devout church going Christian, I want you to hear her voice. It was because of the church community that she became an atheist and it was because of the church community she believed again. Or so it would seem. God’s mysterious and Spirit ways were at work. It was the church community in Acts that inspired her to seek where that might be taking place today in the real world. My statement above might sound radical and harsh but I’m just repeating her story. It wasn’t because of worldly outside influences that changed her mind about Christianity, it was the Christian community itself. This is tough stuff! She said it was because they were not living authentically as community. Because they did not practice what they preached, she was turned- off, and ultimately, she turned away. It was her experience with the Christian community that created a need for her to grasp on to atheism.

It was when she was willing to dive into the word herself, first hand, that she discovered the narrative of Christian community and how it was infiltrated by a loving God and an incarnational witness of Jesus. The narrative in the scripture illustrated for her what it meant to live in authentic community that was filled with Spirit work. Amazing human interactions were happening! Having a Spirit-filled life was not just about talking the talk, seeing how many scriptures one could memorize or how many Sundays one attended church in a year, but really walking the walk in how people truly lived in community. She said after reading the example of the Acts community, she basically said, “God, if you are real, you will show me this community on Earth.” And she found it. Her faith and belief was restored!

Her story is an important one because being a Christian isn’t just about inviting someone to church. It isn’t even saying, “look what we have over here, why don’t you come and join us!” A lot of young people today just plain aren’t interested. But what was this ex-atheist interested in? In Acts 2 she found a community of people who broke bread together, prayed for and with one another, sold their possessions to those in need, found commonality and lived in peace and love. Finding a community where the Holy Spirit resided and had its being, powerfully transformed the life of this twenty-something, young lady I encountered that day. I felt privileged to be on the receiving end of God’s reminder that we all, like this young lady, have a transformative, powerful narrative to share with others, not just in the telling of the tale, but living it out in Spirit and in truth.

The “At Least Somebody Cares!” Moments

We had our Valentine caper all figured out. I was putting my eighty-five year old mother-in-law on a mission to make a young person’s day. Dozens of cookies we had made the day before, you know,the dangerously scrumptious kind! The kind of cookie you can imagine oozing chocolate into every nook and cranny of your sweet tooth and lemon cookies that at one bite make your mouth water.

We arrived at the warm venue all wrapped up in our wintery wraps. My mother-in-law had hidden under her coat “the stash” as the hostess seated us by the window. We strained our necks to see if behind the counter was our favorite waiter.
The thought ran through my mind, “ I wonder what it must feel like for these young people who have to work on Valentine’s day?”

At that moment, sure enough, the young man we had been hoping for rounded the corner.My mother-in-law revealed her secret mission as she stretched out her hand holding the savory morsels wrapped in pink tulle and decorated with glittery red and pink hearts and tied with a piece of red yarn.

“Happy Valentine’s day!” she said as the young man’s face lit up with surprise.

“At least somebody cares about me!” was his reply.

I wonder how many people when touched by Jesus also thought, “at least somebody cares about me!”?

I think of the children who the disciples saw as a nuisance, and Jesus so graciously invited into his arms. I am reminded of people like the man who waited by the pool for many years wanting to be healed but no one would help him into the water. In an instant, Jesus took time with him and healed him. Other stories brought to mind are the men who carried their friend on a cot to be healed by Jesus or Jesus protecting the prostitute about to be stoned to death in the street. In each of these stories, Jesus was there to change the ending of the story.

Jesus made a big difference in the life of people through small gestures that changed the trajectory of their lives. Jesus opened his arms, told a man to walk, honored the wishes of a group of friends and was an advocate and protector. Being a part of God’s work doesn’t have to be about huge moments but is found in the little ones. By participating, we can be a part of changing the ending to the story!

One small pack of cookies let someone know that day that they were cared for. 1 Peter 5: 10 “ And after you have suffered for a little while, the God of all grace, who has called you to his eternal glory in Christ, will himself restore, support, strengthen, and establish you. To him be the power forever and ever. Amen.”

Valentine’s Without Someone to Love

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Mark 12: 30, 31: you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind, and with all your strength.’ The second is this, ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these.” (NRSV)

Restated: Everyday choose to intentionally show your love to God. How? By how you live in the world with others and how you choose to love yourself as God’s creation. (Pastor Kathy)

With Valentine’s day approaching, I’ve had more than one young person ask me, “What should I do for Valentine’s day if I don’t have anyone to spend it with or anyone in my life right now that I would describe as ‘a love’?” Although the day seems like a day to show appreciation between lovers, the day in general is a way to remind us of our capacity to love in the world. I think it celebrates all kinds of love. So, my suggestion to these young people is to take the opportunity to show love and care for self. Instead of focusing on a relationship that may not be present at this time in your life, you can focus on celebrating yourself, forgiving yourself, caring for and loving yourself. Treat yourself to something special. Why not send yourself flowers to enjoy or do an activity you haven’t done in a while. Set new goals and dreams, just do it!

Instead of feeling sorry for yourself and feeling lonely on a day like Valentine’s day, take the opportunity to make someone else feel special. There are plenty of children, singles or elderly persons in the hospital or nursing home setting who would love a visit. Even in the local restaurant you might see someone sitting alone and could start a conversation. Actively think of small acts of kindness to incorporate in the day that will lift the spirits. It really does not take much money to give a smile, play a board game, buy someone a cup of coffee or pay the bill for someone’s Mcd’s breakfast in the drive thru line.

Take the day to enjoy God’s love for you. Enjoy God’s beauty in the day by experiencing your favorite scenery, sounds, tastes etc. Open yourself up to spiritual reflection and thankfulness. Tell God your dreams, and take time to pray. Look for opportunities to be God’s love to others. Surprise someone with a card, a meal or an invitation to spend time together. One of the greatest gifts you can give is being a good listener and being present with someone who otherwise would have no one to spend the day with.

What is one simple way my mother- in-law and I are reaching out to young people this Valentine’s day? We spent one day this week making five dozen cookies together. We thought of all the young people that come across our path each week and we made packets. During the week as we come into contact with these young people, we have been giving out cookies. We included the young lady who comes to our home and takes care of my mother-in-law, the local waiter who waits on us when we go out to eat, young people at physical therapy who cater to my needs, and, of coarse, the young people I’ve built relationships with at bagel church. The act is simple but makes a difference in someone’s day. It is a way of living a life of appreciation for God’s love and care.

This Valentine’s day, instead of focusing on the things you don’t have, focus on thanksgiving and create a way for thankfulness in the life of others.

Catchin’ the ‘Somethin’ Good’

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James 1: 22-24 – “Be doers of the word, and not merely hearers who deceive themselves. For if any are hearers of the word and not doers, they are like those who look at themselves in a mirror; for they look at themselves and, on going away immediately forget what they were like.”

Restated: Actions speak louder than words and God’s word was meant for living it out not just sitting around a table talking about it. When you look in a mirror, who are you focusing on anyway? God’s mandate was to put others first. (Pastor Kathy)

Standing behind the counter were several rows of teeth staring in my direction. In a straight line were show stopping smiles and a lot of swagger from the 20’ somethings that ran the ‘cool machine’ of the bagel shop from day to day. They were joking among themselves and then I caught their attention.

“ I can’t stay today”, I explained.

“We are eating two doors down for lunch at our favorite Italian restaurant.”

The one young man knew the place well since he was employed there and served us many a delicious entrée along with great imported wines. The atmosphere sported a 42” TV suspended from the wall sharing Sundays rendition of the Pope officiating mass at the Vatican. This caused a dissonance with the music piping out from the ceiling speakers playing the most recent pop music being sung in Italian. At times eating there, I felt as if I could look out the window and see a villa on the horizon or a gondola floating by, the transcendence was that good.

As I wished all my favorite young people a happy holiday, the broad shouldered Italian stallion asked, “Where’s grandma?”

I said, “She’s at the Italian restaurant waiting for me to come and eat lunch with her!”

Now, my eighty-five year old mother in law and this young man had a little bit of history. My husband and I would take her to eat out every Sunday and he as our waiter would get to see her. Also, on her birthday, the waiter’s came out and sang to her. But little did I know she had made such an impression on this particular young man.

Enjoying the day with salmon cooked just so, covered in rose sauce and beef Carpaccio that melted on the tongue, we savored the meal. Half way through the lunch that lay light on the palette and heavy on conversation, came the surprise. The young Italian man from the bagel shop came running through the Italian restaurant and zeroed in on my mother in law. He took one look at her, and then gave her the biggest, warmest embrace! He had told me earlier at the bagel shop that he would have to come over and give grandma a hug! James 1: 27 says, “Religion that is pure and undefiled before God, the Father, is this: to care for orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself unstained by the world.” (NRSV)

What I gained in that one small gesture was my faith in young people. God’s love reached beyond the scope of division through the simple act of acceptance and inclusion that a hug offered in that one small moment. His act built relationship and began to create a community of diversity.

Now, do a replay. Rewind the tape. Freeze at the moment of embrace. Here is what was witnessed: two people coming together from two different worldviews, two different religions, two different nationalities, two different genders, and two different generations. He didn’t have to take the time to act on his words, but he did. A glimpse of heaven is what it was, a glimpse of heaven on earth.

The Glory of God is in the Everyday, not just on Sundays!

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It was cold and blustery, a hot tea kind of morning. I looked all over the bagel shop for B. I finally found him, his eyes entranced, staring at his cell phone. He looked up at me with a sly grin.

“you will never guess what happened this morning?” he said as if he couldn’t wait to spill a secret.

“S. came into work this morning and not even five minutes later he got a phone call from his wife!”

My mouth gaped open and a smile slid across my face like a knife splitting a bagel.

“She’s having the baby, now as we speak!”

The news was likened to the announcement of the angels, “Glory to God in the highest, and peace on Earth towards men!”

Flash back two weeks earlier: It was the week before Christmas and hope seemed to be dancing in the air everywhere I went. The anticipation of Christmas seemed to make everyone at the bagel shop in an exceptionally good mood. My frozen fingers held good tidings of great joy in the form of home-baked cookies to give to the staff. But this wasn’t my only bag of tricks.

Today was the day! I brought a surprise for S. He stood stooped, bent over behind the counter so I didn’t see him at first. When he stood up straight, he towered over me with a long, lanky body and a boyish smile. His looks begged to be a “Shaggy” look alike from an episode of Scooby-Doo.

“Hey S., I brought something for you today, but I have one rule: you can’t try to wear it yourself!”, I said with a chuckle.

In the midst of people ordering bagels you could hear the rustling of tissue paper flying out of a heavily decorated bag. The first gift I had given him took no effort because it was only tied with a bow. Leaking out from its binding was a beautiful, lovingly hand-crocheted blanket. He held it in his hands as if he were one of the wise men presenting a gift to a tiny boy king.

“This is for your new son to be…my mother in law made it for you!” I couldn’t contain my smile because of his incessant smile that wouldn’t stop.

“But this gift that you are opening now, is from me and you have to promise me you won’t wear it!” I repeated.

After all the tissue wrapping was gone, out of the bag popped a tiny, fuzzy, yellow, and blue, striped baby hat.
His knees buckled in delight and he cradled it carefully in his over-sized hands as if he were already holding his son- to- be in his arms.

“Junior will look great in that! ” the manager chimed in.

“Thank you ‘s” were exchanged and I went back to my hot tea and conversation with a friend thinking the mornings joys were complete. But why should I be surprised by now? God always had something a little bigger in mind than I could imagine.

About thirty minutes later, a beautifully faced, older woman and a younger girl with dark rimmed glasses came and sat at the table next to us.

“Excuse me,” the younger one said, “are you the person that gave S. the beautiful blanket and baby hat?”

“Why yes…”

“I’m S.’s wife. I just can’t thank you enough!”

The only thing I could think of was that S. had spread the news of what had taken place at the bagel shop that morning and in hearing the news, S’s wife and mother in law took the opportunity to come and see in person what was happening….
The woman at the well did the same thing when she encountered Jesus. The first thing she did was to go into the town, tell the people, and they came looking for an encounter with Jesus themselves. And when the angels declared the glory of God on a group of shepherds, they too had to go and see with their own eyes. Their response was not only to go and tell others, but to experience the news of new hope in a tiny child for themselves. These encounters of glorifying God did not happen in a sanctuary. They occurred beside a well, in a humble stable and in the celebration of a new life in a bustling bagel shop. An encounter with Jesus is in the everyday not just in the sanctuary, and the glory of God is in the everyday, not just on Sundays! Don’t keep it to yourself. Go and tell someone…

‘Church’ without Church Politics!

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I quite enjoy being in an environment where as a pastor I don’t have to worry about being judged by what I wear, if my words are politically correct or if my actions are based on the response of a congregation who needs appeasing.

Quite frankly, as soon as I step foot on the sidewalk of Baltimore, most of the time in my jeans, I’m quite content with the opportunities that the Holy Spirit creates rather than the ones I’ve created by molding environments for people to meet God. This is one of the differences I have experienced when serving and being a leader in the missional setting. I love the freedom in it!

There is something about having to put faith in the fact that God will meet us in the integrated places, where the divine and human collide outside of well- rehearsed worship time and constructed worship space.

To be honest, I got pretty burned out as a worship leader always trying to please someone. In the midst of it all, one can lose sight of what God was really asking in the first place. From the missional paradigm God has taught me that authentically participating in God’s mission is ‘being’ more than doing. ‘Being’ takes an investment of time. It means investing in listening to God and pleasing God. Sometimes this goes against the majority. Look how many times it happened in the scriptures with leaders going against the status quo of societal norms or religiousity?

Politics always seems to be tied into ‘ the majority rules.’ Whoever said group-think was always where God’s will exists anyway? My God is a God whose Spirit freely flows, expresses and creates. My God shows up in the day to day where life is most authentic and not so staged. I feel free to be truly me as a pastor each time I enter the Bagel shop knowing God will show up around a cup of coffee and a bagel with no pre-set agenda. I’m reminded of the words of Psalm 139: 7-10 (NRSV) that says:

“Where can I go from your spirit?
Or where can I flee from your presence?
8 If I ascend to heaven, you are there;
if I make my bed in Sheol, you are there.
9 If I take the wings of the morning
and settle at the farthest limits of the sea,
10 even there your hand shall lead me,
and your right hand shall hold me fast…”

These words remind me that God’s presence is not just for the sanctuary. God’s presence is inescapable. These words from my favorite scripture are telling me that it is my very being that bears witness to a God who loves me. By just being present as a willing participant in what God has planned and ordained, all God asks of me is to show up and participate! This advent, be on the look- out for opportunities to ‘be’ God’s love, to ‘be’ God’s joy, to ‘be’ God’s peace, to ‘be’ God’s love. No church politics necessary.

A Coat of Many Colors!

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Very rarely in my life have I walked into a room and everyone turns to look at me. That is usually reserved for the kid who drops his lunch tray in the cafeteria. Its not something that I expected but neither was the response to follow.

God guides ministry in unexpected wonderful directions and what I love about living ministry in this way is that you can never predict or pre-ordain what shape it will take. On this particular Saturday morning my husband and I were craving bagels. I asked my husband if I should wear my new wrap I had just finished crocheting. This was my first major work and I must admit, I was proud of myself for actually finishing it. Draping it around my shoulders, the extra long shawl dripped to the floor in all its magnificent colors. It blazed with bright orange-reds and deep purples hugging me warmly, assuring me I would be protected against the crisp morning air of October. I could tell my husband really liked the results of my work because he complimented me twice before we even left out the door.

As we entered the bagel shop, I did not expect the response I got. Everyone turned around and stared at me as I entered. For a moment I thought maybe the pavarazzi would pop out from behind the bagel counter and start a flashing frenzy or that the brown, rubber bottomed runner on the floor under my feet would turn into a red carpet. It was a strange moment for me. And then I remembered, I was wearing what some might call my “coat of many colors.” It definitely drew attention. I guess it was a little unusual to see someone not wearing a coat but a full length hand-crocheted wrap.

I approached the counter and addressed the young people I had grown to love with a smile and a warm greeting. This started a “snowball effect.” “Did you make that?” The ball started rolling down the hill faster. And as the conversation built momentum, God opened another opportunity for blessing young people.

“ I could really use a scarf!” one said.

“Can you make mine blue and pink?” another smiled.

God had revealed our next big crochet project for the season of the coming winter.
Over the summer, my mother-in-law and I had worked diligently on making baby hats and blankets. Now God had extended the mission to warming the necks of young people this winter. So now, every time I go to the bagel shop, I keep them informed of our progress. I could not have predicted how God was going to move that day; all because I wore my “coat of many colors!”

Joseph, on the other hand, had a different experience. His coat of many colors was met with a response of jealousy at the hands of his brothers. Joseph would not have predicted that God would take him from the depths of that pit where his brothers had thrown him to one of the highest most honored places in Egypt where one day, those same brothers would revere him.

His coat was a blessing from his father although I’m sure in the midst of his circumstances it seemed like a curse. God, I believe, gives us all a “coat of many colors” that is given to us as a blessing from our heavenly Father. Some will look at it and say please share it, others will look at it and try to destroy it. The point is in the midst, stay true to God’s mission. Be encouraged that the act of lifting one out of a pit, is God’s work, and the act of blessing others is God’s work as well.

Psalm 31:24 NIV
Be strong and take heart, all you who hope in the LORD.

Building Community that Nurtures Thankfulness!

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Her wrinkled hand picked up the orange and chocolate cupcake and slid the wooden dowel at its base, piercing its yummy-ness. Then as if placing a hat on its head, a chocolate-chip muffin was placed on top. She handed me the kabobed goodies so I could place them in see-through, Halloween decorated, zip-lock bags and then tie them with a bow. “Only 23 more to go”, I said as I grinned at my 85 year old mother-in-law’s sticky fingers. “Everyone has to get sticky sometime in their lifetime”, I continued as we both chuckled.

I often wonder what life looks like or feels like to be an 85 year old? But I would think continuing to feel valued would be high on the list of priorities. I had wished that my mother-in- law could have seen the faces of the young people she helped to touch that day. It was a simple act, one of opportunity.

About a year ago, God led me to the local bagel shop to serve, no, not as an employee, but as what I like to call, a street pastor. My spirit showed me that here is where God wanted me to minister, interact, and build relationships with young people. Our move to Baltimore also meant a major change in our personal life. My mother-in-law would be living with us and I would, for a period, end up being her main care-taker. That is a ministry in itself. But how to meld these two worlds was through the simple act of creating a beautiful basket of goodies to give to the employees at the Bagel shop to let them know they were appreciated. The funny thing is, in the act of her and I doing this together, my mother-in-law knew she was appreciated too. She was still viable, had purpose, and was making a difference in the lives of others.

“Boy, now isn’t that a beautiful thing!” the flamboyant young man I’ve been building a relationship with said with a grin as I approached the bagel counter.

“It is, and its for you and all the employees to enjoy, to say thank you for all you do!” Gasps of excitement could be seen as the employees scampered about to see the goodies brought in their honor.

“Let’s get a selfie!” And before I knew it I was squeezed in between a young girl and my new flamboyant friend having my picture taken. Many smiles and thank-yous were exchanged. That one small gesture seemed to lift the air and influence the mood for the rest of the day.

I proceeded to go sit outside on what was a gorgeous, colorful, clear, cool-aired morning. Typically, I sit and pray for those who come across my path. But this basket of hospitality seemed to open up even more opportunities for prayer. You see, a week ago, I told my flamboyant friend I would pray for him because he was sick with a cold. On this day, he came out to where I was sitting, lit up a cigarette and intentionally began telling me about his dying uncle. As we were speaking, his aunt had to make the decision whether or not to take him off of life-support. In that moment I prayed. I felt I was living out the Psalms, one verse filled with praise, another filled with lamentation, but all of it was living out God’s mission.

There is a young person I know who articulated God’s process very well and I’d like to share it here:

“Worship is nurturing thankfulness. Meeting a true need for someone opens an opportunity for a thankful response. A thankful response opens an opportunity for acknowledging God’s presence.”

God’s presence was in each of those little moments and I believe God was glorified. Bagel church is about being in the midst of God’s presence and recognizing God’s work in the midst of human interaction. I’m reflecting back on that day and giving God the glory for it!

“Hey, I like your tat!”

Color-inked, he stood there waiting for me to let him in. Piercings artistically placed with intentional decor lined his facial features. His head was crowned with strawberry blonde hair and on his chin a well kept beard. He looked to be a 20 or early 30-something.

As he walked past me with fists full of plastic grocery bags bulging, I noticed large colorful figures that graced his arms and legs. It was as if cartoon characters had leapt off the page of a comic book onto his body, in hopes that with every movement of his extremities they would be animated, they would come alive.

In five short words, I would know his story. “Hey, I like your tat!”, I said. There it was, the open door for his story to pour out. In its’ spilling, it was up to me to choose to drink of it or not. He approached.

Reaching out his right hand, he showed me his newest one. On the part where Princes kiss princesses there it was: a blue ribbon twisted into what looked like half a Mobius strip with its legs cut and crossed. His name was inked above it. “This will be the last time I deliver for awhile! This is my newest tat. It’s for prostate cancer awareness. I start chemo next week…”

In that moment I decided to drink-in his story and realize God was giving me an opportunity here to pray for this young man. The thought grabbed my conscience that this man was too young to be dealing with this diagnosis, I prayed. I sent him off with my blessings that day and realized that if I had never complimented him on his tats, I would have never learned his story!

God taught me that tattoos aren’t the only things that leave a mark on people! Prayers do too…