This is the view we all shared the first night we spent with Mike and Honey Burrell. There was a light mist in the distance as the sun went down from our view on the deck. This picture (as pretty as it is) doesn’t do the “real” scene justice…but it is the closest we can come to imitating the breathtaking beauty of God’s world.
Since today is Halloween….the night when spirits are most popular…I thought I would talk about spirits…but in a different connotation.
An “aha” moment occurred on the drive over to Trust, North Carolina last Tuesday…to our beloved chapel of hope. Honey was telling us about a woman she met who worked with a company that made and distributed clay. On one of her trips to pick up more clay for her kiln Honey and the sales clerk began talking. The young woman had a tough life and was worried that she might lose her job because the company was cutting back on employees.
From that first conversation…Honey began bringing her casseroles and different household items to help her….Each time Honey went…she said she uttered a prayer to God that this young woman would still be there. On one trip she discovered that not only was her friend there…but she had been promoted. The young woman was so happy to see Honey because she had been wanting to share the good news. She hugged and hugged her.
She, then, told Honey, ” I have been “willing” you to come.” “And now here you are!”
I immediately pulled out my notebook and wrote the sentence down…”I have been “willing” you to come.“
Haven’t we all done that…starting in childhood? We have prayed to God that someone or something we want to see badly arrives or happens to us.
That is what I feel each time I make the pilgrimage back to St. Jude’s Chapel of Hope. I feel this strange magnetism pulling at me…telling me that it is time to return…it really is as if the little chapel is “willing” me back. And each time something new speaks to me.
I usually start feeling a sense of homesickness months before my actual arrival…so by the time we round the last bend in the road (before the little chapel appears)…my heart is pounding and I feel like a child on Christmas Day.
This time…we were all laughing as we got out of the car because Brooke and I were wearing the same jackets which we bought in a little boutique in Landrum called Sissy’s on the way up Monday.
Brooke pulled this jacket from a hanger and told me this looked just like me and insisted that I needed to get it. The owner started adding to the temptation by saying he would take a certain percentage off for me.
When I tried it on…I really did like it…and was still debating about it when Brooke showed up in the dressing room with the same jacket on…she thought she would get one too. We burst out laughing…we used to do stuff like that all the time at Erskine…the Bobbsy Twins. Then Jackson double-dared us to both wear our jackets and get a picture taken in front of the chapel…so we did!
As you saw in the blog yesterday…it ended up with Jackson and Honey in blue and Brooke and I in pink/red….we were patriotic if nothing else.
For some reason this time…it was the “miracle” rock (that saved the chapel when the stream overflowed its banks back in 2003) that kept drawing me. The name of the little creek is Spring Creek. I can’t help but feel it springs hope for me and all those I love.
It really is a small rock….not big enough to make a difference against flood waters….yet today it still remains located between the creek and the chapel…which was not only…not carried off in the flood, but the floors weren’t even flooded. A true miracle. I needed to see it again with my own eyes…miracles are around us everywhere if we just look for them.
Every time we look at the stained glass of St. Jude helping a fellowman (behind the altar) we see something different….this time, as we all sat on the bench…it was the rock that resembled our little “miracle”rock that caught our attention. (lower purple rock just above my head)
Wouldn’t you know when we looked down on the altar table filled with items left behind behind by other pilgrims…it was our loved ones whose faces reappeared in faded photos…some even lying within pages of scripture.
1) The original picture I left from July 2010…after Eva Cate was born… with this verse on the back:
“Love is the child who shares our breath; Love is the child who scatters death.”
2) Last year I made a photo copy of the “chicken” family done from the famous Chicken Man artist in Columbia (Ernest Lee) and on the back side
I added a photo of Rutledge since he was just a “bump” in the chicken sketch.
The top picture of mother and Aunt Eva…bottom picture of me, Mama Mia, Brooke, and Jackson was lying in the Bible…Honey checked to see what the scripture read behind their pictures and it was the story of Jesus turning water into wine.
It was only later that the significance of this scripture hit me. The scripture was about Jesus’s first “miracle” dealing with “living water” and the miracle of its power and His power. From Hope Falls to Spring Creek…we have seen miracles of love and hope right before our very eyes on this trip. (We even took turns blessing each other with water from the healing bottle of water from Lourdes…a special moment in our friendship!)
There are still more stories to tell…but I will stop here and share some photos taken from everyone showing the beauty of the little chapel and, of course, friendship is always the most beautiful of all.
To my three amigos who follow my whims and dreams without questioning…friends to the end….I love you girls!
So until tomorrow….Remind us Father to look around us and find the daily miracles happening right in front of us and “will” you to become a guiding factor in our lives.
“Today is my favorite day” Winnie the Pooh
* In Landrum I picked up ” The Great Pumpkin Patch” sign (just watched Charlie Brown for the umpteenth time again last night) and a jack o’ lantern pail which I filled with mums….the last of my Halloween decorating….because today is Halloween!
* I will be spending the night at John and Mandy’s following the grandchildren’s trick or treating since they don’t want me on the road tonight…I hope everyone has a safe and fun Halloween!