About a year ago a parishioner asked to see me after worship. We went into my office after most people had left and seemed nervous.
I have a lot of respect for this woman. When I first came to the church we met together and through tears she said, “I wanted to be a support to you. I really believe something special is happening and I want to be part of it.”
She wrote me notes through my divorce voicing love and support. In summertime she brings me beautiful flowers from her garden. She feels deeply, and is aglow with the spirit every time I see her.
She also carries struggle and hardship like any of us do. She wears her heart on her sleeve, but privately. She cries or laughs during sermons and I know it’s all genuine.
So here we were, alone in my office and she looks down at her hand. She told me that one day she was in a Christian Bookstore, and checking out next to the register was this small pile of rings. It almost called to her.
She bought this thin piece of silver with “Jesus”printed around it separated by the Jesus fish. It was on her finger and she was fiddling with it.
“I love this ring and I don’t want to give it up, I don’t know why, but God calling me to give it to you.”
I’ve been in this moment, I know what it’s like. God told me to do something but when I speak it out loud I worry that it would seem trite, or the person would reject my gift meaning I got the message wrong.
I took the ring, thanking her, I believed that she had a call to give it to me.
She told me that when she put it on each day she would just do it and walk out the door. Then she remembered that some days she would notice that she really needed God and would observe that “Jesus” was pointed at her so she could read it, and other days it was pointed outward so if she placed her hand out to another, they would be able to read “Jesus” and on these days she would pay attention on where others needed the love of God.
At that time in my life there was no question I needed Jesus. So I purposefully for a while put it on my hand facing me. Then I noticed slowly that I wasn’t paying as much attention in the morning, and sometimes it would face me and other days it would face the world. I remember my friend’s observation.
I would smile.
About a week ago God told me it was time to give my ring away. “no, I told God, I love this ring and I don’t want to give it up.”
I have been wearing it on my left hand ring finger, where my once wedding ring used to sit. I would wear it along with a ring my best friend gave me and it was a reminder that I was not alone, that I was someone’s beloved.
It reminded me, in the loneliest of moments that I belonged and was deeply loved. By friends and a community.
It’s been a week since God wrote on my heart a name of a woman who now needs it. I wish I could give it to her in person, but I will have to mail it, and this morning I asked for her address. I wanted to write this for two beautiful women today. One who God worked through to remind me I was beloved when I felt unlovable and one who God wants to know is lovable and beloved.
I pray she feels the sense of belonging I felt when wearing it. I pray that when she no longer needs it, even though that may not be until her dying day, that God will write on her heart who might need it next.
Thank you Kimbrea, I love you too. Rebecca, here you go sweetheart, I love you.