God’s Story ~ Jennifer Gerhardt

May 26, 2014

This month’s God Story comes from my friend Jennifer Gerhardt. She lives in Round Rock, TX, where her husband, Justin, preaches for the Round Rock Church of Christ. I met Jennifer during college at FHU, while we were both English majors. I have always loved her joyful Spirit and her writing, both which point others toward God, and this post is no exception. I hope you’ll find encouragement in her story that God does not just appear in the “big events” of life. He’s actively present in the everyday. You can find more of Jennifer’s writing on her blog: JLGerhardt {God Scout}

A while back, Tara invited me to share my God story here on her blog, any God story she said. Write about a time when God showed up. And I was overwhelmed by the scope of my options. Because, perhaps like you, I’m living every day with God, walking with Him and listening to Him, watching Him work in my church and my family, in my friends’ marriages and in world events. I see Him in little things too, like butterflies and the dark matter theory, in just enough flour to make a grieving friend her favorite cookies.

God is everywhere. And to me, everything worth writing is a God story of some sort or another.

Last night I scrolled through old essays and blog posts of mine, records of God-sightings, and found a story I’d like to share. It’s about my daughter London who was three, almost four at the time, and it’s about God, about the way God can show up in a person, even a very little person. This is what I wrote:

Today I took my daughters to the nursing home (“nursery” home London calls it) across the street from our house. I’ve been wanting to go for months, feeling guilty about not going, it being so close. So, today we went. London drew pictures of people (she’s very Tim Burton right now) and Eve drew circles, which she told me were fish in the sea. We made six or seven pictures, tucked them under our arms, and took a walk.

When we arrived, the secretary directed us to the common area, encouraging us to talk to whomever we’d like. I told the girls to pick someone they thought might like a picture. “Pick someone you’d like to make happy,” I whispered.

Eve, my two year old, all business, quickly and matter-of-factly delivered her art. Then she ran to an empty couch where she sat for the next fifteen minutes sniffing the air and frowning. She is picky about smells. A nursing home is not her favorite place.

London, however, took the task very, very seriously. She wandered the room, smiling at residents, tilting her head, thinking. Finally she approached a woman sitting alone by a window eating lunch. London, grinning widely, walked directly to the woman’s wheel chair and offered her drawing. The woman, hair in a sloppy bun, probably in her late eighties, looked surprised, but she reached for her picture and examined it. With a little explanation from a nurse she realized what London had given her and as the realization sunk in her face lit. She began thanking London profusely, reaching toward my thoughtful little girl. The woman started talking and couldn’t stop. She was so happy. And so clearly sad, too.

Now engaged in a rather confusing and emotional conversation with this woman myself (her name was Thalia), I looked down expecting to find London ready to walk away. But London didn’t want to walk away. Instead, she looked Thalia in the eyes and started singing a song she’d learned from her grandmother. She sang these words:

“Where do I find help

Help, to see me through?

Father in You, Oh Lord,

My help comes from You.”

During the song Thalia began to cry. “She’s so beautiful, so beautiful,” Thalia said again and again, unable to say much more.

Upon finishing her song, London put her hand on Thalia’s arm, and said “The Lord bless you and keep you. The Lord make His face to shine upon you and give you peace.”

I was dumbstruck.

Here’s the deal: I know this story might sound like bragging from a proud mom, sentimental bragging at that, but I want to be clear that I had nothing to do with this moment. Neither did London really. From my front row seat it was perfectly clear that God’s child Thalia needed His comfort, and that in that moment, as she cried to London’s melody, she was seeing her God’s face.

And so was I.

I see God in my girls a lot. In their limitless joy. In their quick and unconditional forgiveness. In their beauty. But occasionally I see God in them precisely. I get the chance to watch God use my girls, to channel His love through them into the life of another person. And that’s what happened today. God soaked his daughter Thalia in love, using London like fire hose of comfort and presence.

Blessed be the name of the Lord.

 I love these stories because they have a power to encourage us to see God working in our lives in both the big events and the everyday. If you have a God Story you’d like to share, please contact me at: tlcole@overaccup.org for more information or click here for our guest post guidelines. 


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