We were standing in the hallway at the Allume conference. There was a buffet lunch and the line, directly in front of us, was almost complete. My littlest one had had just about enough. He was in need of some rest. I secured him into his umbrella stroller and attempted to walk as quickly as I could to the exit. Then I saw her.
I walked past her. Seeing that she was speaking with somebody. I didn’t want to bother so I kept walking. I had almost gotten to the doors when my feet stopped and turned back toward her. Afterall, this may be the only chance I ever get to say “thank you.”
I waited patiently behind for her conversation to finish. Then more people came to talk with her. My little one was getting restless but I just couldn’t let this moment pass. Like a few months previous when I had waited hours in line just to tell Michelle Duggar “thank you.”
I gently laid my hand on her shoulder and told her a very light version of my story. How I run a blog called Eucharisteo and yet it wasn’t until recently that I fully understood what that meant to me. The embrace of knowing that life is appreciated left me feeling loved. I was thankful the Spirit turned my feet back to her.
And that was it.
But it wasn’t.
I took my baby back to rest and rest he did not. He fought sleep for too long to honestly admit. We bundled back up and returned to the Allume conference. Later that evening, during dinner, my little one was heading toward fatigue. I left the table with him and, again, went to play with him in the hallway. I spent my time taking him away from the sponsor tables. Making sure he wouldn’t tear a tablecloth off. I was squatting down next to him when out of my peripheral I saw two coming my direction. I picked up my little man a few inches and moved him to the side so the people could pass. As they passed I kept my head down not wanting to make eye contact. Just trying not to be a distraction.
And I felt the touch of Christ.
A hand against my back. A brush of encouragement. A touch of “I’ve been there and I understand.”
My head turned seeking who that could have been.
It was Ann.
The one person who should have been the most unapproachable. The one I told my daughters I will try to get a photo of but no promises. She took the time to encourage my tired and worn heart.
She could have easily walked on by. She could have taken a different path.
But a Samaritan, as he journeyed, came to where he was, and when he saw him, he had compassion. Luke 10:33
It’s not that I was star struck. I was Jesus struck.
And because of moments like those that weekend, being surrounded by women who were so sacrificial, my hospitality to others has changed in such a beautiful and meaningful way. At some point within my early mothering years my focus had blurred and all that was visible was myself. What I was going through. And when I’m the only one that’s in focus then everything that I deemed right was right. All that I deemed wrong was wrong. All I deemed unworthy was unworthy.
I was so wrong. I have been so short sighted. I have been all about me. If I’ve shorted you in the past, I deeply apologize.
This is what it means to show Christ to others. I want to be His vessel. I want people to see His love through my actions. I want to become less.
Ann, my love, thank you so much for showing me how to be more like Him.
And that, my dear friends, has been the best gift of the weekend.
I have so many incredible stories to share with you! This is the first of many. I couldn’t possibly write everything in one little post. This is just the beginning.
Thank you for letting me share this with you.