“He Won’t Believe Me”

Friday, July 4

7-4By Pearl Edwards of Tumwater, Washington, USA

Praise the Lord, all you nations! Extol him, all you peoples! For great is his steadfast love toward us, and the faithfulness of the Lord endures forever. Praise the Lord!

—Psalm 117:1–2 NRSV

God sometimes surprises us. The extraordinary emerges within the ordinary, reminding us once more that every person is of great worth to God. Further, divine love rests in each one. These ideas came to life one summer at Camp Opportunity— a place for children from families considered “at risk” by the welfare department.

Staff members greeted the children as they spilled from the bus. One little boy, not much bigger than his suitcase, struggled with his load. It flew open, releasing socks, shorts, T-shirts, and jeans, in various states of repair.

Before I could help, he looked at me with embarrassment and frustration, quickly gathered the clothing, and threw it willy-nilly into the suitcase. He sat on the closed lid and pushed the closure locks into place.

I watched him off and on during the week in the camp community. On the last day, the children and staff gathered for good-byes and going-home activities. He sat in the circle of children. The director asked the staff members to whisper an encouraging thought into the ear of each child.

I felt the Spirit lead, “When you come to him, tell him, ‘You are a neat kid, and God loves you.’” I thought, “He won’t believe me,” but I whispered as the Spirit had led.

Later in the day, as I watched the children line up to get on the bus, this boy caught my attention. As he looked at me, he waved enthusiastically and smiled broadly. He had believed me, and God’s Spirit had touched him at this camp! He experienced in a brief moment that he was a person of worth. Someone appreciated and cherished him.

The love of God blessed two people that day—the boy and me as we experienced a time to remember. I prayed he would remember this for a long while. I prayed his memory might return in those times when doubts and anxieties come. Divine love surprises.

Prayer for Peace Creator God, sometimes your love surprises. We are grateful for those moments. May we take those moments and share them with others as we share the peace of Christ.

Spiritual Practice: Honoring the Worth of All Persons Imagine God watching you grow in your mother’s womb. What thoughts and feelings do you have about being “fearfully and wonderfully made” (Psalm 139:14 NRSV)?

Sense the intimate knowledge and love God has of you and every child. Be aware of the sacred worth of each person. Weep with God over the soul-wounding forces and events that rob people of dignity and worth. How does God invite you to protect the spiritual identity of all people?

Peace Covenant Today, God, I will remember that we help people know your love by how we express ours.

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3 Comments

  1. Diane Akers

     /  4 July 2014

    Very prophetic, thanks for sharing. Thanks too for responding to the Spirit!

  2. Vera Entwistle

     /  4 July 2014

    Your story touched me deeply. To touch one little soul in such a way is wonderful. We never really know what good we can do with one brief comment, do we? God bless you in your efforts!

  3. Irvin L. Jones

     /  4 July 2014

    Thank you for reminding me of God’s love and his pushing us to love and care for others.

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