Last summer, our church was privileged to experience the Watoto Children’s Choir from Uganda, Africa. It was an amazing, beautiful performance full of excitement, energy, and the proclaiming of how life is beautiful, despite the hard circumstances these orphaned children have had to endure.
Randy, the boys, and I signed up to be a host family for one of the adults and two children that evening. After we took a moment over a bedtime snack getting to know one another, it was time to get Noah tucked into bed. Our nurse for the night had just arrived and it was getting late.
Up until this time, Will, Tonny, and Brian, our guests from Africa, had not seen a child with a trach or other tubes coming from his body. They studied Noah’s bedroom full of the equipment and machines that we hook him up to each night and watched us tuck him in.
Right before it was time to turn off the light, Will (the adult) asked if he could say a prayer over Noah. Accepting his offer, our newfound friends from Africa whom we had known for a total of 1 hour, stood with us, hands joined, and circled Noah’s bed. It was a beautiful moment that I will not forget.
The thing is, our night nurse stood quietly tucked as far back into the corner of the room as he could, stood their wide-eyed and watched the whole thing. Never saying a word. I did not know if he was a Christian or had any belief in God, but I said a silent prayer and asked God to touch his heart that night.
Over the past several weeks, my son Noah has been waking up in the middle of the night with having bad dreams. Honestly, it all started with something he saw on a commercial. While watching a decent TV show, a not-so-decent commercial came on featuring a horror show and 30 seconds later, it was embedded in his mind and the scary dreams began. Not only that, but he is now terrified of being alone and also of the dark. He currently will not be on a different level of the house alone, even in daylight.
I have had talks with my boys about where fear comes from, and what we need to do if we are overcome with fear. Namely, speaking out loud proclaiming the name of Jesus Christ. They understand that this type of fear does not come from God, and they know there is power in the name of Jesus!
A couple nights ago, he was afraid to fall asleep. So, I took a moment and prayed with him, specifically for the Lord to drive out any fear that he was having and that he wouldn’t have any nightmares that night. To his delight, when he woke in the morning, he happily proclaimed that he didn’t have any bad dreams.
Last night, the same nurse that stood quietly in the corner of the room last summer, was scheduled to watch over Noah. Another nurse, who was orientating to start working in our home, also came. I informed them of Noah’s recent nightmares and told them that Noah might ask to have them sit with him until he falls back to sleep if he does wake up.
This morning, when I came downstairs, I asked how the night went. The male nurse shared that Noah did indeed wake up scared in the middle of the night from a bad dream. I then asked, “Did he ask you to sit with him?” To which he replied, “I did, but I also prayed with him, and he feel right back to sleep.”
Friends, after a year of having this nurse in our home from time to time, I still have no idea if he has any kind of faith. He is an amazing nurse who is as friendly as can be and does a great job with Noah. Both Noah and we love having him in our house. But as far as real “fruits” being produced, I just can’t tell. It leaves me unsure.
So, when he shared that he sat and prayed with Noah, it just made my heart leap. I asked Noah later this morning if he was the one who asked the nurse to pray, to which he replied as innocently as possible, “Yes, I asked him to pray with me”. I don’t know if this was the action this nurse would of naturally taken or if this was the first time this young man has ever lifted up a prayer to the Lord. But since Noah asked, he responded and I just can’t help but smile about it.
This time however, the female nurse, being on orientation, was present in the room, standing quietly and watching what was happening.
2 Corinthians 3:2-3, “You yourselves are our letter, written on our hearts, known and read by everybody. You show that you are a letter from Christ, the result of of our ministry, written not with ink but with the Spirit of the living God, not on tablets of stone but on tablets of human hearts.”
Back in the day when Paul was writing this letter to the Corinthian church, there were some religious teachers that would carry written letters, their resumes on stone, to prove they were authentic and were capable of giving a good sermon. Paul, not carrying any letter like this, didn’t need too…he chose to use his life and was encouraging the church at Corinth that they were doing the same.
You see, the most powerful sermon that we can ever give is not with our written words. Ink is used to write on things that are perishable – things that will eventually fade and wither away. These typed words, my words, will never have the impact that real flesh and blood interaction will.
The most powerful sermon that we can give is with our lives – authentic Christian lives that reflect our creator. When the Spirit of the Living God takes his finger and engraves on human hearts – that will never fade away.
You can be a living letter of recommendation.
When we live in such a way and expose what the Spirit of the Living God writes on our hearts, our lives become a letter that is in a language that ALL will be able to read.
It doesn’t matter if you are from Africa spending some time in the USA, if you have nurses come into your home every night, if you go to work each day, if you are a stay at home mom, or if you are a child…
God can use you to recommend Him to all those you come in contact with.
Be a walking testimony! In honor of this Valentines Day, dare to expose your heart by the way you live and share the love letter that is written on it.
You just never know who will be standing off to the side, quietly watching, taking it all in ~ waiting for God to take His hand, touch their heart, and make a lasting imprint that will never fade away.
PS…Will, my friend, never stop being a true living letter of recommendation!