Raised much like an only child, I did not want to rent from her. The spaces were dormitory style with private quarters shared among four students and communal living/kitchen/dining areas. I wanted freedom, and everything about this arrangement screamed captivity to me. But God knew what I needed. And WHO I needed. So, when all my renting options dwindled to nothing, I plastered on a fake smile and suitcase in hand, moved in with the queen of authentic. Her unrelenting care didn't coddle; it forced me to strip away the facade, even the deceit, and take a firm hold on truth. In the process, delusions that had taken me away from God were corrected, allowing complete restoration with my loving Savior. When all was said and done, I was convinced God had urged her to open Mercy House just for me. I told her so. "It wasn't you kids needing me," she'd always reply. "It was me needing each of you." And that's often the way of God's work: mutually benefiting. Even so, she was the purest testimony of just how someone without means, money, or distinction can influence a life, and lives, too numerous to count, were touched by her in a way that left an eternal imprint.
Through her genuine, unadorned investment in people, she's been accumulating spiritual treasure for a long time. Today, she's enjoying some of those treasures while we participate in her memorial service. Like the atmosphere she generated in the Mercy House, the air is stirred with challenge. I take another honest look at myself to see if I"m being the purest me, the one through whom Heaven is introduced to others' hearts.
Tip/Tidbit: Challenge any mindset that keeps you from serving others in a way that lifts their spirits to God.