I sat in the church pew, trying my hardest to focus as the Sunday service began. But while worship music filled the room, I couldn’t help but stare at the beautiful head of wavy hair seated just a few seats down in the row in front of me.

Could it be her?

I leaned a bit to catch a glimpse of her profile – making my husband question my obvious distraction – and the content sparkle in her eye gave her away. All these years later, her body had significantly aged. Her hands, as if they could tell a story all of their own, were wrinkled and worn. But her posture and resolve still seemed as determined as ever, and the way she worshiped moved me to tears.

I could hardly wait to make my way down to her, but how? She had known me best when I was a little girl, in a little town in that little church, and at a time when my family was more than a little in need. Would she even recognize me all these years later?

I whispered an audible “Thanks, God,” as the worship leader invited the congregation to take a moment to greet one another. Jesus must have known I wouldn’t have been able to wait until the end of the service. Before he could even finish speaking, I was side-stepping my way up and over Bibles and shoes and purses and people, shuffling as fast as I could down to where she stood. Laying my hand gently on her shoulder, I leaned up into her row and whispered her name.

“I’m not sure if you remember me…,” I began, then introduced myself by my maiden name, followed by whose daughter I was. Without missing a beat, she stood straight up, wrapped her frail hands around mine, and leaned in closely. Unlike her body, her voice was strong…

“I know who you are.  I have always loved you.” 

Oh, and love she did.


Thirty-three years prior, she had made a decision to reach out and love a family with four children, ages eight and under. She and her husband faithfully attended that little church in that little town, where we too found refuge every week.

Her ways were subtle, but generous.

“The beans in the garden are ready for picking, if you’d like to come by for some this week.”

There were powerful moments of prayer and encouragement from God’s Word together, envelopes with money slipped into a Bible without a word, women’s retreats and church camps “mysteriously” paid for, and bags of groceries that found their way into the back seat of our car after church.

She didn’t judge. She didn’t take sides. She didn’t pass by the need, leaving it for someone else to meet. She simply and humbly loved like Jesus. She gave what she had, and expected nothing in return.

For years this went on, and there was a little girl who took all of this in and tucked it deep down into her heart. Through the generosity of one, that little girl learned that Jesus was with her family as He provided through His people. That Jesus knew what they needed. That Jesus was always on time. And the little girl’s love for Jesus grew.

That little girl was me.

It was just.like.God. to remind me of His goodness by crossing my path with this precious saint a few years ago. Little did my old friend know when she walked through those church doors that Sunday morning that a little girl, from a little church in a little town, would grow up and many, many years later, would kiss her cheek and whisper into her ear…

“Your love helped introduce me to the love of Jesus.”

One person. One life of purpose. One choice to love. And today, Jesus continues to whisper…

“I know who you are. I have always loved you.”

Back then, I was unable to repay her generosity. But today – because of Christ in me – I can love others in return… one prayer, one smile, one provision, one truth, one life at a time.

It’s time to chose brave in Jesus’ name. Who is God calling you to reach with His love?

At His feet,

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Faithful Love Bible Study Journal

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