The other day, I was on a family visit to someone I know but who is not a member of my church.
(For those of you who not familiar with what pastoral visits are like, it fits in a grey zone of “not quite family” but “more than just a guest”. I’ve known the father of this family for close to a year but to call us “friends” in the traditional sense is not quite right. “Men who have shared faith in friendship” is more accurate; a bond that is founded in friendship, but deeper.)
I love pastoral visits because Forrest Gump was right; life really is like a box of chocolates. And you just never know where the blessing is going to come from. For me, the anticipation is part of the fun.
Sometimes the stories people share are heavier and deeper than you were expecting and at times like that, you need to be in touch with gratitude – gratitude for the trust the other person is placing in you. For me, it helps me to remind myself to stay humble and listen rather that solve.
Other times, you just rest in the peace of friendship.
And then other times, you end up being blessed by someone’s wisdom and you realize the visit was more for you than the family you visited. And last week it was one of those kinds of visits.
I was ministered to – by a seven year old girl.
“Melanie” loves to write storybooks. Some of them are picture books where she can tell the story that comes to mind as she tells it – “Once upon a time there was a cat and a dog. The cat loved beauty and the dog loved to chase sticks” – and other books have words in them. She has quite a collection of them, all neatly put together with various kinds of paper, folded in the middle and stapled.
One story caught my attention in particular. It was about flowers and she had drawn a flower with a rainbow where the stigma was supposed to go (the middle of the flower that looks like a button). How unique I thought.
Melanie is not her real name – but this part of our conversation comes to you word for word.
Melanie: “Here’s my drawing. It’s a rainbow on a flower.
Me: Melanie, that is really neat. I am so curious to know. Why did you draw it that way?
Melanie: Because it brings the rain and the sun together.
Me: But the rain and the sun are different from each other. So why is that important?
Melanie: Because it takes both to come together to make the rainbow.
Dad: ….. speechless and proud. Big smile.
Sit with that for a while. I’m still sitting with it.
Be blessed. Be a blessing.
Rev. Eric Lukacs