The Christmas Scarf – part 6 – Final Installment

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/

The Christmas Scarf – part 5

https://nycshepherd.com/2018/12/30/the-christmas-scarf-part-5/

The Christmas Scarf – Final Installment

The snowy days leading up to Christmas flew by and were bearable for Molly. Since her first honest to goodness frank conversation with God things were different. Not necessarily all better but certainly different. She had had many such conversations since the first one. Bearable was good phrase to describe how she felt. Her heart wasn’t healed but the pain that was there was now not the only thing she felt.

scarf 5The project was coming along and in fact it was almost finished. It gave her something to look forward to when she came home from work. Beyond that, she was looking forward to her Christmas Day meeting with Grace. She’d had helped her so much with a just a few words. She hoped that at her next meeting with her they could talk more about Grace’s journey from grief to hope.

Molly also had decided to do something very special for Grace. She planned to present her with the beautiful scarf that had been the project but now was a wonderful tapestry of green, blue, red, gold, silver and purple bands with white separating the bands. It looked great even if Molly said so herself. The scarf had brought her close to Rebecca and would be a fitting gift to Grace her …friend or was it her mentor.

On Christmas eve Molly hurried home first from work and then from a family party with uncles and aunts and nephews and cousins. It was her second Christmas without Rebecca. It seemed to her that she would always measure life with how many Christmases it had been since Rebecca’s passing. And yet she could sense she was getting better. There was hope. That was enough for now.

purple box

Once home she took one last look at the scarf and then wrapped it in a beautiful purple box with a bright purple bow. She had picked out a special card for Grace as well. It wasn’t really a Christmas card, but it had a snow scene on the front and a blank place to write on the inside. There Molly wrote “Dear Grace, Thank you for teaching me that “I have a broken heart not a broken life. I’ve got a broken dream not a broken future”. I have hope now. You are a very special person. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year, Your friend, Molly.” It was the most personal card she could ever remember writing.

Molly intended to go to bed early. She had agreed to meet Grace with Samantha. the girl she was mentoring at Grace’s church. They were to meet for Christmas Day Services at 10:00 A.M. the next morning then good to Christmas Dinner. She was actually a little excited about Christmas Day. She’d even gotten a little doll for Samantha. She walked into Rebecca’s room to feel close to her on Christmas Eve. She went to her closet to pull out one of her dresses. As she looked in at the few dresses that were there her eyes were drawn to a garment bag hidden in plain site in the middle of the closet. Pulling it out and unzipping it she gasped.

scarf 2

There before her eyes was a beautiful, hand crafted, green, blue, red, gold, silver and purple scarf with white dividing each color hanging in the garment bag. It was just like the one she had seen on Rebecca’s battered cell phone. That was because it was the one she had seen on Rebecca’s battered cell phone.

Holding the completed project, the Scarf that Rebecca had made, Molly’s mind raced. “Why was Rebecca making two scarfs?” Molly asked out loud. The answer came easily to Molly’s mind. One was to be for Molly and one was to be for Rebecca. Molly smiled and cried all at once. Nearly a year after her passing, Rebecca had given Molly one last amazing Christmas gift.  It wasn’t cold in her apartment and it wasn’t snowing outside but Molly still wore the scarf to bed.

storefront church

The alarm clock wakened Molly much later than she had intended to get up. It was 9:30 A.M. and she needed be a Grace’s Church in 30 minutes. She was going to be a little more than fashionably late. She did her best to get ready quickly and get out the door but it was 10:15 A.M. before she threw on her new handwoven scarf made for her by her daughter and left the house. She pulled in to the Church at 10:45 A.M. It was 10:50 A.M. when she snuck in the back as the congregation was singing in Spanish “Gloria a Dios en lo alto. Gloria a Dios en lo alto.”. The smiles on everyone’s faces made her glad she had come. She looked for Grace but she was nowhere to be seen. She was so looking forward to giving her the scarf in the gift box she had carried in with her. She was going to take a selfie of the two of them in their scarfs. Out of the corner of her eye she saw Samantha sitting alone and wondered the more where Grace was.

After the singing the Pastor made his way to the platform with what looked like a letter in his hand. Clearing his throat, he began to read it in Spanish. He must have noticed the puzzled look on Molly’s face because he started translating it as he went. The English translation was choppy but Molly understood it. “My brothers and sisters” the letter began “I can’t thank you enough for all you’ve done for me”. It continued “I came to you broken and bitter, hurting from my loss and running from God. You befriended me and helped me heal by the grace of our Lord. You helped me find my purpose again. I’ve been called back home to my native country because my sister is sick and needs me immediately. I’m sorry I couldn’t be there to say goodbye. Please take care of my mentee, Samantha, You will always be in my heart, Love, Gracia”.

Molly was stunned. She regretted now never exchanging her cell phone number with Grace. Her thoughts immediately turned to Samantha and her feelings of desertion. Right after the service was over she sought her out. Putting her arm around her she consoled her. She prayed “God help me to help her”. Immediately and almost miraculously and instinctively she knew what she needed to do. She handed the purple wrapped box with the purple bow to Samantha. Opening it Samantha smiled a smile that went from ear to ear. Molly pointed to the scarf around her neck and helped Samantha place the just opened scarf around her’s. Taking out her cell phone Molly took a Christmas selfie of two girls in Christmas scarfs. It would be the first of many selfies of Molly and Samantha. They walked out of church together into the freshly falling snow, two girls in beautiful, handwoven green, blue, red, gold, silver and purple separated by white Christmas scarfs.

scarf3

Please read and share. This weekend at Calvary Chapel – Friday, January 4th, 2019 – Sunday, January 6th, 2019. The Final Installment of the Gifts of Christmas – “Hope, An Expectation to Wait For”

Friday, January 4, 2019

in-his-presence2

8:00 P.M – In His Presence  will not meet this week. Throughout the rest of January “In His Presence” will be meeting on Wednesday evenings at 7:30 P.M. in the Church Sanctuary

8:00 P.M. – DIVAS and CHAMPIONS begin meeting at 10:00 A.M. on Sundays beginning this Sunday, January 6th, 2019. Friday evenings will be used for special events and trips

Saturday, January 5th, 2019

tutoring

12:00 P.M. – 1:30 P.M. – Tutoring for PS 44 begins

 

Sunday, January 6th, 2019

the gifts of Christmas

9:00 A.M. – Worship Celebration
– Message from Pastor Dave Watson – “The Gifts of Christmas Part 6 – Hope –  An Expectation to Wait For”

10:15 A.M. – Angie’s Connection Café

Life Groups
DIVAS & CHAMPIONS – Junior High and High School young men & women
THRIVE – Young Adults
BLAST – Adults

11:15 A.M. –Worship Celebration
– Message from Pastor Dave Watson –The Gifts of Christmas Part 6 – Hope –  An Expectation to Wait For”

1:00 P.M. – Iglesia El Calvario – Spanish Service – Celebration del Dia de Reyes

3 kings

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 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.