I tell people all the time that Sean and I are continually learning here in Chicago.
It amazes me how much we have learned in our short time here and I know there are many more lessons to come.
I was telling my mom on her last visit here that the thing that God has been putting on my heart the most is this: People need love.
It seems simple, but the more God has opened my eyes and my heart I realize that people really aren't given love that often.
When people are given love it is based on performance, conditions, or requirements. From what I have observed I don't think people are freely offered unconditional love.
I think a majority of people go throughout their days thinking about themselves, their to-do lists, their families, their job obligations, etc.
We ask one another in check out lines "How are you doing today" but no one ever gives a real answer, we typically throw out the "I'm fine" - which should be code for "not good". And when someone does give a real answer it makes us feel uncomfortable.
But as I said earlier, The Lord is at work in The DeWitts and He is all about molding our lives to look more like His and less like the world.
Recently, Sean began talking to me about a girl that he worked with at Starbucks. (For those of you who didn't know my amazing husband worked at Starbucks when we moved here, it was an incredible experience for us - it taught us a lot and allowed me to see Sean as a true servant of the Lord). Sean's former co-worker is pregnant with her second child, experiencing pregnancy complications, and her husband has recently lost his job. He keep saying he felt like he needed to do something, but wasn't sure what. I have to be honest and say that the first few times he mentioned this I listened but never really took heart. I keep thinking it's getting close to the Holidays, people are already on tight budgets because of the economy, what could we really offer, and that it might be uncomfortable asking people to help. Basically I was being a jerk and putting limitations on the Lord.
So the more we discussed it the more we prayed about it. After much prayer Sean reached out to our friends and family back home. He wrote a beautiful email asking for prayer support and financial support from those that could help. What an incredible response we received! So many people sent gift cards to grocery stores, gift cards to Toys R Us, and monetary gifts.
This past Saturday Sean and I were able to met up with his former co-worker. Sean had sent her a text to let her know we had a gift for the baby. Before we left we prayed that the Lord would make this moment His and most importantly that she wouldn't see our faces on this gift, but Christ's. We arrived to the coffee shop, said hi, and had some causal chit chat. Then Sean began to ask her how she was doing. Not a quick "hey how's it going" question, but a real and sincere question. I loved watching that moment, watching the Lord speak thru my husband and reach out to another human. After listening to her describe what had been going on in their lives Sean quietly said that we had been praying for her and her family. And that we had reached out to some of our family and friends back home and that we all wanted to give her and her family a gift for Christmas. She barley opened the envelope before closing it back up and starring at us. She spent about a minute speechless looking back and forth between our eyes. It was one of the coolest moments I've experienced. No words were needed, but we felt the love and thanks that was in her heart. As soon as she gathered herself we were all hugging and crying (except for Sean who says that female emotions make him uncomfortable). She kept saying "How did you all do this", "Why did you all do this", "You don't know how much this means to my family", etc. We simply explained that we wanted to help and that we had friends and family that also wanted to help. That it was our joy to help her. And it truly was the sweetest joy I've ever felt.
As we left and went about the rest of our Saturday errands I began to realize that this is what the world needs more of. More people sharing God's unconditional love, more men like Sean who not only hear the call from Christ, but act upon it at the right time. More people like our friends and family that are so willing to step up and help, despite the cost or circumstance. I told Sean that I wish that everyday of my life could be like that moment...sharing hope and joy with others. For I know that I would be a different woman if that was my life. Maybe it can't be everyday but I hope it becomes more common. I hope I am open to the Lord's desire for my life. Our pastor said this past Sunday that "obedience is doing what God wants, when God wants it, with a God honoring attitude. And the secret to obedience is....love." Tonight I pray for obedience to God's will for my life and always unconditional love for his people.
We love you all!