The Christmas Scarf – Part 5

To catch up please use the links below

The Christmas Scarf – part 1

https://nycshepherd.com/2018/12/10/the-christmas-scarf-part-1/

The Christmas Scarf – part 2

https://nycshepherd.com/2018/12/16/the-christmas-scarf-part-2/

The Christmas Scarf – part 3

https://nycshepherd.com/2018/12/24/the-christmas-scarf-part-3/

The Christmas Scarf – part 4

https://nycshepherd.com/2018/12/25/the-christmas-scarf-part-4/

 

vantity

She barely recognized herself in the mirror. Her eyes had dark circles under them. Her face was puffy and her hair was disheveled. She’d call out sick for the last few days at work.  She didn’t have the flu or a cold or even a cough. She was exhausted. She couldn’t get to sleep at night and she couldn’t rest during the day because she couldn’t shake Grace’s question to her. She had said “I had to make peace with it and with God. You understand, right?” She heard Grace ask it over and over and over in her mind.

Molly didn’t understand and she didn’t know how she could ever understand. She couldn’t understand. Seeing her marriage dissolve was regrettable but she could understand that. Her parents passing away was painful but people get old and die. She could understand that. But losing Rebecca…….. How could she ever make peace with losing her and with the God who took her?  Yet Grace had somehow come to grips with a similar loss. How did she do it? Molly had to find out.

It had been three weeks since Molly and Grace had promised to meet on Christmas Day. She had accomplished almost nothing on Rebecca’s special project.  It was Sunday morning and she decided she needed to see, no, speak to, Grace, face to face.  She needed peace…now. Throwing on a hat to cover her unkempt head and cheap scarf to keep her face semi-covered, she made her way to her car and started off for Hobby Lobby to see her new friend Grace.

shelter2

Driving the now familiar route, she wasn’t surprised to see Grace dressed in a stylish silver overcoat  waiting at the same bus stop she’d seen her at just a few weeks earlier. Pulling over she once again offered Grace a ride and once again Grace took her up on the offer. As soon as her door was shut and before Molly could say “Can we talk, I’m about to go crazy,” Grace asked “You got time for a quick stop to pick up the girl I mentor. I’m taking her to church this morning.”  “Sure” a surprised Molly replied, “but I thought you were on your way to work.”  “No dear, they are closed on Sundays” Grace responded.

“Do you think you and I could speak after church today?” Molly heard herself sheepishly ask as they pulled in to the projects to pick up Grace’s mentee.  It was as if Grace didn’t even hear her for she had rolled the window down and yelled for Samantha,  her mentee, to join them in the car. With her quickly loaded, off they went to a church Molly didn’t know with a young girl Molly didn’t know with a 75ish woman Molly barely knew. This was getting to be quite a ride.

Not far from the projects was Grace’s church only it didn’t look like any church Molly had ever been in. It was a brick storefront on a row of stores on a garbage strewn street in the heart of the toughest neighborhood in the city. When she parked and locked her car Molly worried if it may be the last time she ever saw it. The church was not large numerically or spatially. The chairs were in narrow rows facing a pulpit on a slightly elevated stage. The service wasn’t bad just long and loud. Sitting next to Grace and Samantha, Molly considered herself a little out of place to say the least. She was Caucasian, didn’t know any of the words to the songs and looked like someone with a drinking problem. But, she got through it and by the end was singing the last song “Joy to the World” as if she meant it.  Somehow she felt just a little bit better.

burger joint

Having dropped off Samantha, Molly found herself across a table from her new friend Grace. Their burgers came quicker than Molly expected and Grace reached over and held her hand and uttered a simple prayer, “Lord, thank you for this food and for our fellowship. May I be a blessing to Molly because she has sure been a blessing to me, In Your name I pray,  Amen.”  When she looked up Molly thought she’d been to church again. It seemed God was right there in the Burger Joint. Staring right at her Grace said “So, what’s on your mind?”

For the next two hours Molly told her story. Through her tears she repeatedly asked Grace a simple question, “How do I make peace with it and with God?” As the conversation came to a close, Grace gave her a simple answer “I have come to believe that when I don’t understand His hand I know I can trust His heart. My Lord is my friend. Though He slay me I will trust Him, that’s in the book of Job in the Bible. I was angry at the Lord for a long time. I told Him so. I ran away from Him, but I couldn’t stay away.  He’s everything to me.  I love Him and can’t live without Him. I asked Him for a new mission other than my granddaughter Jenny. That’s when I found my church and the mentoring program and my Samantha.  It still hurts. It always will but I’m now at peace with God and His plan for me. Do you understand?” Molly nodded her head in half agreement. She was beginning to understand.

At home again Molly reached for her project. She started it again, knit one, pearl two, knit one pearl two. Before long it was time for bed and Molly kneeled beside her bed and spoke honestly with God for the very first time in her life. She poured her heart out to Him.  It felt good. Exhausted, but unburdened, she climbed into bed and quickly drifted off to sleep as a fresh blanket of white snow fell outside.

blanket of snow

 

Please share. This weekend at Calvary Chapel, includes New Year’s Eve, December 28th, 2018 – December 31st, 2018 – “The Gifts of Christmas – Part 5 – Joy”

Friday December 28th, 2018

in-his-presence2

8:00 P.M – In His Presence  will not meet this week.

8:00 P.M. – No DIVAS and CHAMPIONS until January

Saturday, December 29th, 2018

No events scheduled

 

Sunday, December 30th, 2018

the gifts of Christmas

9:00 A.M. – Worship Celebration
– Message from Pastor Dave Watson – “The Gifts of Christmas Part 5 – Joy – A State to Rejoice In”

10:15 A.M. – Angie’s Connection Café

Life Groups
Youth Life – Teens
THRIVE – Young Adults
BLAST – Adults

11:15 A.M. –Worship Celebration
– Message from Pastor Dave Watson – “The Gifts of Christmas Part 5 – Joy – A State to Rejoice In”

1:00 P.M. – Iglesia El Calvario – Spanish Life Group in the Cafe

New Year’s Eve, Monday, December 31st,  2018 

Gallery

7:30 P.M.  Doors Open

8:00 P.M. – Calvary’s Got talent – Sort of – Karaoke

9:00 P.M. – Illusionist Joe Holiday

10:00 P.M. – Venetian Hour

11:00 P.M. – Watch Night Service

Midnight – Communion

wmca

Our 11:15 A.M. Worship Service is streamed live at http://www.calvarychapelsi.org and facebook at @calvarychapelsi and is also carried live on 570AM The Mission and at http://www.wmca.com and http://www.iheartradio.com, beginning at 11:30 A.M.

The Christmas Scarf – Part 4

For the Christmas Scarf Parts 1-3 click below

https://wordpress.com/post/nycshepherd.com/6907

snow+plow+newMolly woke early the next morning, Saturday morning, to the sound of ploughs and sand trucks. The road crews were clearing the streets and Molly was clearing her head. She needed to go out again. She need more yarn, different colored yarn to finish the project Rebecca had started. Amazingly, serendipitously, maybe even miraculously the blue yarn picked by Gracia matched perfectly what Rebecca had started. Now all she needed was the red, the gold, the silver and the purple. The semi -charged cell phone in hand she went off to the same store as yesterday hoping to run into Gracia, my friends call me Grace, again. She didn’t know that it would be sooner than she could have anticipated.

loveAs she made the turn out of her complex she was greeted with a sight that had become so familiar she had no longer noticed it. For some reason today was different. Right in front of her were the huge Red letters L O V E outside the Hilton Hotel. The word reminded her of Rebecca’s last words to her in the unsent text on her damaged red phone. It gave her the chills. Two spine tingling events in two days. This was a bit much for her.

As she began her drive she was again slowed by the traffic even though it was early. Having stopped at a red light she looked to her right and was surprised, no, shocked to see Gracia -my friends call me Grace – standing at the bus stop in a bright gold coat and hat. Molly pulled over, rolled down her window and shouted across through the passenger’s side window, “Jump in, I’m going your way.”  Gracia, once she recognized Molly, complied, quickly jumping in the passenger side. Off Molly went to Hobby Lobby with Gracia – or  was it Grace –  in tow.

The two strangers had an expected moment of awkwardness before Gracia broke the ice. “Fancy meeting you here this morning” she said with a smile. “Do you have time for a quick stop before going to Hobby Lobby?” Molly was suddenly all in with her new friend Grace. “Point the way” she heard herself say almost enthusiastically. “Over there” said Grace pointing to one of the toughest housing projects in the city seen just to their right down a main drag.

projects

As she turned at the next intersection, Molly could not resist asking Grace, where they were going.  Grace replied with a smirk, “Well of course, I mentor a young girl there and I need to drop off her Christmas gift,”  Molly now had a few more questions to ask Grace like “How old are you?” and “Why are you, a seventy five year oldish woman going to the projects alone to mentor someone?”  and  “How long have you been doing this?”  Regretfully, that would all have to wait because they were pulling into the projects and Grace was already about to jump out of the car and find her beloved mentee. “You can stay in the car or follow me” she said back into the car after jumping out as it barely had come to a halt.  “This will only be a minute, I can’t be late for work” she added.

A little overwhelmed already, Molly chose to sit this one out. “Maybe next time” were the words she whispered to herself. She was a bit apprehensive. She had never actually been here before.  Safe in her parked car, she saw Grace approach a skinny dark-skinned girl who looked about 12 years of age and hand her a wrapped box. They exchanged what seemed to be pleasantries, hugged and just like that Grace was back in the car and they were on their way to Grace’s employment and Molly’s shopping destination.

After a second pause of awkward silence Molly asked Grace “So, how long have you been a mentor?” “Since my church made me aware of the opportunity” she replied.  “These young girls need a steady influence in their lives. They need a good foundation. I’m trying to make a difference in one life at a time, but truth be told I do it as much for me as for them.”  “How’s that?” Molly managed to choke out afraid of the answer she might hear. Grace’s demeanor changed as she said in a quiet tone, “After I lost my granddaughter Jenny three years ago I was a basket case. I was helping her mother raise her and then….” Her voice trailed off.  “I got so depressed I moved away, I just wanted to be alone.” Molly thought she needed to pull the car over because she couldn’t see the road for the tears in her own eyes. Grace continued, “But last year near Christmas I stopped moping and started hoping again and that’s when this opportunity came.” “Maybe I don’t have Jenny to laugh and cry with or to mentor, but with the good Lord’s help I can use my time to help others.  You understand, right?  I had to make my peace with it and with God, You understand, right?” she repeated.

Molly was so glad they had reached the store by then and that she didn’t have to answer. She and Grace got out of the car and with a quick “thank you” and “your welcome” headed for their prospective stations, Grace to clock in and Molly to buy yarn. Taking out the battered red cell phone with the picture, Molly tried discreetly to match the colors and then went to check out. Grace’s words “Made my peace with God” seem to hang overhead like a cloud of smoke. How does one ever do that?” she thought, “How did Grace do that?”  In yet another twist of fate her cashier was Grace. Grace could see Molly wasn’t right. Right there in line Molly found herself agreeing to meet Grace for dinner on none other than Christmas Day since neither of them had any other place to be.  As quickly as she could,  Molly was out the door to head to the safety of her apartment and to her project and to feeling  close to Rebecca again. It might take awhile though, it was starting to snow.