Thursday, March 2, 2017

One Special Card

To celebrate my sixth date-less Valentine's Day I came up with an idea to honor the holiday and spread God's love. I purchased stacks of blank greeting cards, stickers and heart shaped stampers and wrote on the inside of each card a scripture about love. I searched my Bible concordance and Google and filled the cards with verses revolving around accepting Christ's love, sharing God's love and living a life of love.
After writing over fifty verses on fifty blank cards I took them and my Valentine's Day card decor to church where I grabbed the old and the young, the willing and the reluctant, to add whimsical stickers and rosy colored stamped images to the front of the cards and envelopes. Personal messages were encouraged but not required.
Once completed, our decorated scripture cards were delivered to men in the local drug rehabilitation program at our city's Christian rescue mission. I delivered the cards to the receptionist at the front desk who counted them out. We had made just enough with three to spare. The receptionist thanked me for the gesture, returned the extras cards and passed out the rest during the resident's morning meeting.
Making those cards, as simple as an act as it was, made my Valentine's Day. For the rest of February fourteenth I thought about the men who would receive a personal message of hope and prayed that they would find encouragement in the truth of God's word. Little did I know that is just what one of those cards would do for me nearly a month later.
My own card delivery came on a windy afternoon standing on a city sidewalk. As I struggled to my car with a bag full of books and assorted papers a massive gust of wind came and nearly knocked me over. I caught my balance - barely - but couldn't catch all of my papers. I looked down to see that the wind was carrying away three envelopes, two red and one white. The left over Valentine's Day cards.
Before I could reach them all the two red envelopes went flying up and away. I scurried ahead to the pavement ahead just in time to catch the last envelope, a white one with two cartoon stickers. I froze when my eyes caught site of the hand writing. It was my own.
Out of fifty decorated card the only one that remained was one decorated and written by me. I clutched the card extra tightly for fear that the wind would snatch it out of my hands. Still sealed shut, I hadn't a clue which verse would be inside my special card and I couldn't recall if I had written a personal message to a mystery recipient. But I knew that whatever was inside that card was meant for me. God had preserved and protected it specially for me.
Once out of the windy city street I pulled out my card and ripped open its seal. I had decorated the blank cover with a pink stamper displaying the words, "made with LOVE." I smiled, knowing that the sentiment was true, not just an empty claim.
Inside I found the scripture that God had kept just for me. 1 Corinthians 13:7, "Love...always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres."  Then I saw a message, the personal message written by my own hand, that said, "God is love!"
I folded up my card and caught the lump in my throat. Yes, He is. 
On the Sunday afternoon that I wrote that message I could never have imagined that it was penned for me, to be received on a windy street on a day when I so desperately needed the steadying hand of God, His hand of love, to encourage and sustain me. But God knew. A month ago when my hand grabbed a purple pen and a pink stamper God knew who would be opening up the white seal of that white envelope covered in stickers.
For a month God kept that card waiting till just the right moment, just the right windy day, when He would deliver it to the pavement in front of my feet. He left just enough seconds for me to grab hold of His message of love and truth. Inside He gave me just the right words to still my soul and give me peace.
God is love. He is love for me and He is love for you. The message may not always come in a wind swept card. Sometimes God sends His message of love in a rainstorm and sometimes it comes in the warm rays of the sun. In every season, on every sidewalk, God has a message of love because God is love and He always protects, always trust, always hopes. And He never, ever fails.

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