I could eat beans and rice everyday. I love them. So, I started eating them daily. I didn't have time to cook much, so I'd make a big pot on Sunday for all week. The first week was black beans, second one was lentils. And I am always a thankful eater, so I was fine. I never went hungry. But I never wanted enough to get full either. And then came Anna. At first I thought I didn't want her. And I knew I didn't need her. A few weeks ago I felt obliged to have her come, but now I will never let her go. She only comes one day a week. But that is the best one. She opens the curtains on the windows and lets the light shine in. Seems like that is what she does in life too. I walk in and see her there and the light inside me starts shining. Maybe she just acts like we are friends because she is working in my house, but I don't think so. She's probably the closest thing I have to a real friend. If I come home for lunch there she is, cooking something amazing. And then I smack her on the butt as I leave to go back to work and dart away out the door before she can reach out to hit me. I yell, "bye ma!" as I run out. She just laughs. And then when I get home at night she is gone, but the windows are still open and the kitchen is clean and something smells good. She has left her mark, though she has moved on for the day. It must be something similar to what it would be like to have a good 1950s wife. Come home, and there's dinner waiting for you, and a clean quiet house. A few weeks back I was wondering how much weight I had lost. Now I am trying to budget my meals to avoid obesity from Anna's cooking. She's someone I never knew I wanted or needed, until she came along.
Another person I have met along the way and found interesting is an old man. I use the term old honestly, and yet somehow generously. He's in his eighties, but he seems much younger. His story in it's entirety is beyond my telling, but I'll encourage you with a few pieces. He lost the woman who had been the love of his life 10 or 12 years ago. When his wife passed on before him, he entered deep depression. God brought Him out of that dark place, and He made it clear that he was to go and do medical mission work. Since then he has been all over the world serving. Not like a week here, or a week there, but months at a time for I believe almost forty trips. Without regard to the safety of location, he goes where there is need. He is such a cute old fellow, you want to just kiss him on his bald head and tell him that you are proud of him. He wonders why God waited until he was 70 to really show Himself to him. At the same time he understands that it took going through the deepest valley that he has ever known to really be broken and open to the Lord. It is encouraging to me to see a deeply seasoned, deeply wrinkled man following the Lord with all of his heart. He is going for it, at more than 80 years old. God changed his whole idea of life, took away all his prior hopes of retirement, and gave him something infinitely better. He made Himself known. And a broken and needy heart found it's every desire fulfilled and satisfied.
I thank the Lord for people like these as I go through life everyday. I see the difference they make, in big ways and small ways. As they provide for others and pour their lives out, they are touching those around them. I think of your stories too, those who have walked through many days with me, those who pray for me, those who give to make the work that I am doing right now possible. And I thank the Lord for you too. So many of you have made my days brighter and happier. Many have lived admirable lives worth trying to replicate. I would encourage you all to live this life well. You've got huge chances to make a difference to those around you. Thanks for making a difference in my life.