Friday, July 22, 2011

Beauty Refracted

Sometimes, unexpected joys pop into my life that can be credited to God alone. My friend Gina is one of those joys.

I met her in an unusual way, a way that is unique to our generation. Past generations of women met through their husband’s jobs or as neighbors or maybe through volunteering in the school PTA or church. Gina and I met online.

She and I regularly commented on a photography blog. I thought she was wry and wise, funny and compassionate. I could tell this simply by reading the comments she posted. She intrigued me enough that I went to check out her blog – Namaste by Day – and started getting to know her there. She did likewise on my blog (leaving 223 comments, to date!), and we quickly realized we actually live in the SAME town. How cool is that? Even better, our sons are the same age. We made plans for a play date and got to know each other in person. In Real Life!

But before I ever met Gina in real life, I started inviting her to church with me. She said no because of a hectic schedule and because “I consider myself very spiritual....just a bit reluctant to get into religion.” (Yes, I still have the email!) Fast forward a year and a half, and she finally brought her family to my church. For the last nine months, I have watched a passion for God unfold in Gina’s heart. I read it on her blog as she describes her excitement about getting to church and worshiping. I hear her talk about how God melts her fears. I know, without a doubt, He is pursuing her and her husband in the same way He has pursued me. It has been an amazingly cool thing to watch.

This weekend at church, Gina gave me a beautiful gift. I knew she was working on something because she kept telling me, “I’m making something for you but it isn’t ready!” She posted something on her blog about it too, but gave a dire written warning before I scrolled down to see the surprise. (She later deleted the post because of possible trademark issues.) So I had a slight idea as to what the gift might be, but wasn’t prepared for this:_MDS3465

Gina hand-painted a canvas for me with Proverbs 31:25, “She is clothed with strength and dignity; she can laugh at the days to come.” In a card Gina included with the gift, she explained why she picked that verse. She said it describes me!

Now hear this: I am NOT tooting my own horn. If anything, I think Gina is off her rocker, but I am honored by her gesture. Just the fact that someone might look at me and see even a tiny flicker of Scripture reflected in my soul is a HUGE honor to me. That is more precious to me than a gift of jewels or even a massage gift certificate! To think that God is visible in my soul? To think that I glorify Him?

THAT is a testament to His love, His presence in my life. And even more? My friend, who once wasn’t so sure about the church thing, is now quoting Scripture to me. God has His hand on us!

“Receiving a gift is like getting a rare gemstone; any way you look at it, you see beauty refracted.” Proverbs 17:8 MSG_MDS3470

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