{ The Blind Friend and the Sobbing Drunk on the Beach }

Yesterday, I sent a message to a total stranger, requesting help for a spiritually blind friend. 

Think: Asking Santa for a new baby sister, or calling on the President to help the family purchase a new dishwasher.

I am now sitting here at 3 a.m. wondering what the response will be, and I am comforted by sudden thoughts of being in good Bible company.

I recall — with hope — some innovative, yet seemingly inappropriate ventures that pop out of scripture — ones which ended remarkably well:

  • A harlot with faith who hid foreign spies in her roof. (Joshua 2)
  • Buddies who lowered their needy friend through a crowd and a roof to get healing ~ budding in line at best, and at worst: breaking and entering. (Mark 2:4)
  • A controversial woman who poured expensive perfume on Jesus’ feet, in front of a batch of scorners, then went on to wipe His feet with her hair. (John 12)

Have you ever done something outlandish or eccentric, but for a worthy reason?

  • Said to a stranger: “God told me to talk to you…” 
  • Dumped kindness and grace on someone who slighted or offended you?
  • Sent an anonymous gift in the mail?
  • Stretched beyond norms to rescue someone you love?

God’s ways — as seen in scripture — show me that He doesn’t always work within our manners, ways, protocol, or traditional appropriate-ness.

Jesus doesn’t bid us all approach Him as gently weeping sinners, sitting in shiny church pews. Sometimes repentance and God’s forgiveness wash over a sobbing drunk, stretched out on a sandy beach. 

So, all to say, I am praying that God, who creatively used a donkey to speak to a prophet (Numbers 22:22), will use my strangely unexpected message, sent off to a total stranger, to open the eyes of a blind friend.

Photos:

Bible Photo by Aaron Burden on Unsplash

Blind Photo by Oscar Keys on Unsplash

{ Meet Esther Goetz ~ The Dolly Mama }

It’s funny how people float in and out of your life. Your best high school buddy has disappeared, but the girl you didn’t know, who sat in the back row of homeroom, is now your dear friend and neighbor. 

Esther Picture for Dolly Mama

In a way, Esther Goetz is that kind of person. She was the friend-of-a-friend at our college on the outskirts of Chicago. I knew she was outgoing and friendly, and had grown up in Ethiopia as a missionary kid, but I didn’t know much more about her while we shared the same campus,

We went on with our separate studies and friends and lives. Graduation scattered everyone to build their own careers and families all over the map.

Fast forward three decades, when I stumbled upon a blog called The Dolly Mama.

Here I found someone with a kindred world view, words of truth, and a winsome sense of spunk. Esther’s photo and name looked familiar, and later I discovered that she was the Esther from college years, molded and sharpened by a life yielded to God and His Word. 

After college, she married Allen; they have four adult children, one son-in-law and a feisty toddler grandson. Esther and her husband lead the marriage mentoring ministry at their church (they have met with over 120 couples over the past 15 years!) Esther also leads a women’s group.

Her blog reflects what she does in real life, as she discusses faith, family and friendship.

Besides family, church, blogging, leadership and more, Esther likes to read! Right now, she is enjoying The Next Right Thing by Emily Freeman, and her three favorite books of all time are:

Whenever I visit Esther’s blog, The Dolly Mama,  I often end up crying or laughing. She inspired me to choose a Word of the Year– her 2020 word is HYGGE.

Some of her recent posts have titles like these:  

So visit Esther Goetz at the Dolly Mama.  Say hello, and be encouraged and inspired!

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{ Kindness & Key Lime Mousse }

When a speck starts to irritate you, it becomes a stone, which becomes a boulder, which gets so big you can’t see past it.
So, yesterday, I was having a speck-to-boulder day…

My boulder weighs me down, sinking me into mid-depths of bummed-out-ness.

In my wilted state, I head to a social function with the family.

Smile pasted on, I weave through people traffic.

On the way to the bathroom, one person thinks I am Chris.

On the way back from the bathroom, another stranger thinks I am Chris.

I looked down at what I am wearing and feel slightly better.

It’s a good thing to be mistaken for Chris.

I pluck a 1,000 calorie key lime mousse from the food table.

key-lime-mousse2

Then Peggy approaches me.  I don’t know her well, but she’s a warm and sparkly person.

She treats me like a long lost friend.

She whispers “I’m an introvert and I will be heading back to the kitchen soon” but she seems glad to see me before she hides.

Then she asks me a sincere question, her kind eyes searching.

They stop right where the boulder sits in my soul.

And that powerful kindness, with its innocent question, unleashes healing waters that wash my wounds.

That’s me with the key lime mousse and the tears– being hugged by Peggy in the middle of a busy driveway.

We are an island of feelings in a sea of toddlers, teens, fajitas and a jumping castle.

I feel better now.

 

“Kind words can be short and easy to speak, but their echoes are truly endless.” — Mother Teresa

“Lord, help me say the kind thing at the right time to the person who needs it most.” Amen.

© Lisa M. Luciano