Tuesday, April 14, 2015
As I began to share the news that Emmaus had been awarded a Lilly Endowment Clergy Renewal Grant, family and friends all seemed to have the same reaction. They would say; “Vallerie, you deserve this!” I would always counter with, “No, I really do not but God is good and I am grateful.”
I never felt worthy of this grant and the generous opportunity that I was being given. Tuesday morning, I hurriedly cleaned, sorted through sacks of mail and washed clothes. I was doing all the many personal chores I had left undone. In the midst of all this, I had a lunch date with my friend, Jerry. We met at the Peking resturant. Jerry is very self aware and he shared a powerful story about dealing with his own defense mechanisms. Then he asked me this haunting question, “What is keeping you from embracing this gift God wants to give you?” The answer popped out immediately, “I don’t deserve this.” Jerry, gently but firmly, remind me that God loved me abundantly and wanted me to enjoy every moment of his gracious gift to me. “You DO deserve this!”
My friend treated me to lunch and when the fortune cookies arrived, I grabbed one but he insisted that we switch cookies. It turned out to be the right move because his fortune was just right for him and mine was just right for me. Here is what mine said: “In a gentle way, you can shake the world.” May this gift of time God has so graciously given, strengthen me so that I might change the world for Christ in an ever so gentle way.
I count it all joy ,