Sometimes we’re unaware of the blessings that exist right in our own backyards.
The call. When asked to speak on the topic “A Fresh Glimpse of God When …” at the Balboa Baptist Church ladies luncheon, I thought of the series of articles that I’d just posted on my blog. I wanted to capture some of my thoughts as I observed a doe with her fawn right in my own backyard.
“What a blessing, ”I thought, “to be able to share this experience with some other Christian women in my community.”
At times, my life as a writer can cause me to feel a little isolated and lonely, as I sit in my writer’s cave day after day with very little face-to-face contact with the real world. So, I’m always excited for the opportunity to meet some new friends, especially since I still feel like a stranger in my new community.
The scene. The event planner asked me to arrive a few minutes early, and I expected to find a few ladies making the last-minute preparations for their luncheon. Instead, I greeted a friendly neighbor with a smile and a beautiful Hawaiian lei. As she placed the lei around my neck, she introduced herself, welcomed me, and guided me to the event planner.
Through the glass doors of their banquet room, I observed tables set up for the expected 150 guests, decked out with festive flowers and colorful decorations. A grass hut with beach decorations stood on the speaker’s platform. And most of the ladies there wore festive dresses; some even had flowers in their hair.
My hostess offered to help me distribute my handouts and introduced me informally to some of her friends. And as the luncheon began, I found myself engaged in an interesting conversation with the ladies at my table.
As Hawaiian music played in the background, we all enjoyed the tropical meal, served by several men dressed in Aloha Hawaiian shirts.
After our meal, a ladies trio sang “Blue Hawaii.” Then, we laughed at a wonderful skit, performed by another trio of hula dancers.
I found it hard to follow such an entertaining troupe with a more serious message of “a Glimpse of God When … Creation Speaks.” But I sensed the entire audience connecting with the message I offered, as I encouraged them to see a fresh glimpse of God in the beautiful scenes of nature visible to us everyday all around us in the Village. I’ve discovered that God often teaches us important life lessons as we observe nature.
The blessing. As I left the luncheon, inspired by the event and the new friendships that I’d made, I realized that God had given me another fresh glimpse of Himself, as I engaged with other Christ-followers here in my new hometown.
In Luke 6:38, I read this promise,
Give, and you will receive. Your gift will return to you in full—pressed down, shaken together to make room for more, running over, and poured into your lap. The amount you give will determine the amount you get back. (NLT)
Even though I arrived at this event prepared to offer a word of encouragement, I received a blessing far greater than I could have ever prepared to give.
And as I recall this moment, I’m in awe at the blessings that God often provides right in my own backyard.
What blessings have you discovered right in your own backyard?