This is what happens when you have a seniors' VBS.
Today I met Ms. Gwen, a beautiful woman from Liberia, who sat quietly in the third pew during our praise and worship, giving sweet amens when I spoke of God's goodness.
After we sang and shared from God's Word, we walked back into the senior center to share some ice cream and laughter.
I realized we forgot to put cherries out on the sundae fixings table (is it possible to have a sundae without a cherry?), so I grabbed the jar from the fridge and began to pass it down the table - first to Ms. Gwen. She began to dig a cherry out, holding the spoon with one hand, and I realized quickly that her other arm was tucked just at her waist, shaking, yet immobile. As I reached to help her she gave a half-hearted smile, quietly whispering that her arm gave her some trouble.
I sat back down beside her, and as we enjoyed our treats she asked me if I knew how good her God is. My heart skipped as I knew a testimony was headed my way...
She told me that she used to live in North Carolina, and that they have a very busy interstate system she traveled on to get to odd jobs she worked while living there. With a grateful passion she spoke, "God is so good! I drove to a lady's house to work one morning, and just after I arrived I began to feel confused, so I went into the bathroom, and that's when I fell to the floor and my whole side of my body wouldn't move. The lady there knew about these kinds of things and she came to me and told me I was having a stroke. She called the ambulance so I could be cared for. God is so good! I would have died on the highway! He spared me and let me make it to the lady's house instead. He is so good! He is so faithful. He promised me that when I left Liberia He would be with me all the way. And He has!"
Ms. Gwen suffered a debilitating stroke. Is she asking God why she can no longer use her arm for work? Is she frustrated that her body can no longer fully embrace those that she loves?
The tears welled up in my eyes as the love she has for her Savior shouted at me in her quiet speech. "He is so faithful." Instead of bitterness in the midst of a stroke she has thanksgiving that the Lord brought her to a place where she was pressed but not crushed.
And I thought that I was going to bring her Jesus today. Ms. Gwen held a VBS all her own.