Sacred Encounters

Three of us settle next to each other on the soft couch in this light-filled room – plates of homemade crab-cheese wontons, strawberries and papaya slices, skewered Chinese-spiced beef, refreshing lemon and cherry blossom cookies in our laps – joy spilling over for the glowing bride-to-be and floating around us like romance and music.

I can hear that joy in the lilt of women chattering all around…see it in the gorgeous shades-of-pink floral arrangements here and there – dahlias, roses, gladiolas radiating beauty set in crystal for this day – feel it in the loving hands that have decorated and prepared and bestowed this bouquet of celebration... anticipate it in the still-wrapped presents glitter-lining the fireplace hearth.

As we nestle back against the couch, amidst the “How have you been’s”  and “What have you been up to’s,” conversation with these women I see maybe once or twice a year at various occasions suddenly becomes real and earnest.  Hearts shared, like books open to the most touching parts of their story.

Sometimes I can barely move with the fatigue of it all,” she is sharing.  I look into her eyes, see some of myself there and understand more than usual her feelings of overwhelm.  Though I don’t personally know the exact malady she suffers from, there are ways I do know.  Something in her description of her daily struggle with severe diabetes makes my spirit do a flip flop as I hear the inner whisper to… lift her up.

My sugar levels bounce up and down so often these days,” she explains.  She is strong, but I hear the vulnerable heart in her words, see it in her eyes.  “I’m so grateful for my husband recognizing when I need him, coming with me even to grocery shop, knowing that even pushing the grocery cart is a struggle in those moments…”

We listen and ask questions, share a little of the ways we know from our own lives.  We get up and begin mingling… and I find myself behind her again as we both bend over a board of old wedding photos to be matched with current ones.  And as I look over her shoulder at these pictures, I am praying God’s healing touch on her, asking Him to strengthen and relieve and refresh

Bridesmaid BouquetsGifts are opened and I treasure the sparkle I see in the bride-to-be’s eyes… She looks so pretty and radiant in her deep fuchsia dress, and we all lean in as one to delight over each new gift right along with her.  The lovely pattern she has chosen for her dishes, the bright and cheerful towel sets, the darling set of luggage and new outfits for her honeymoon.  I have chosen and wrapped a bit of the classic I’ve loved sharing with her over her childhood… some  ballad Sinatra to remind her of other-era stars we’ve both enjoyed together and to fill her car with romance on the way to her new home, an old-fashioned scallop-edged bridal box of beauty creams with it’s sentimental yet fresh design, a fun old musical that speaks to her new life to come, a beautiful touch of scripture and music to share with her husband…   Someone comments how my gifts show I really know this couple… I smile and hope she feels that way too…

And in my mind’s eye I see her both as the little girl I watched grow up – shared giggles  and music and faith with – and as this lovely young woman on a threshold of a new life with her wonderful young man…  I thank God for their shared love of Him, the light that surrounds them, all our looking forward to their big day…

Then, as this afternoon’s celebration comes to a close, I hear another whisper to my spirit…  Tell her you want to pray for her, before you go…

Suddenly, people are leaving, and someone is pressing me to decide about a ride that can take me the hour drive back home, since I have carpooled here…  “I just need to say goodbye to someone,” I say hurriedly, turning back to catch her before she leaves.  Find her.

I want to pray for you,” I say as I do.  Her eyes well.  “How should I pray? For your blood sugar to stabilize?”

Yes!” she breathes with a smile.  “And what can I pray for you too?”  She mentions something important, and I say yes…but then briefly share something even more.  I find my own eyes welling and try to stop the tide flow.  “I’m sorry,” I mumble, “just so many things going on…for ALL of us…

She takes my hands, and in her eyes, I know she understands too.

So quickly it seems…we are all on our way… the day is over.

And as I think about it later, I bless the Lord for this lovely, lovely day.  A celebration I am SO joyful for, flowing with blessings on everyone there.  And…  a sacred encounter.

It reminds me of how my friend and I love to pray even for strangers, and how we’ve talked about going out together sometime, to “prayer-walk” and see whom the Holy Spirit might lead us to pray for… maybe even stop to encourage and let them know we are praying (as we read of someone who did just that)…

For all this week, I have lifted this woman up even as I pray for myself… morning, noon and night, finding Him prompting me to pray… Lord, stabilize her blood sugar.  Flow your peace and calm over her each time she checks it.   Help her to feel healthy and strong in ways she hasn’t in a long time.  And fill her with the joy that you ARE hearing and moving in her prayers, mine and so many others… our healing, by Your wounds borne for us…

And somehow I think…she will stay in my prayers daily…as I look forward to hearing and sharing blessings to come, next time we meet.

…those who trust in the Lord will find new strength.
They will soar high on wings like eagles.
They will run and not grow weary.
They will walk and not faint.

Isaiah 40:31 

©  Pam Depoyan

Woman holding bunch of flowers

To do:  This week, look for His Sacred Encounters… 🙂


About Pam@Writing...Apples of Gold

I love to hear your thoughts, even chat back and forth amongst comments.Won't you join the conversation? :) ..................................................................................................................... May my stories refresh you, like a whisper from our Father's Heart !
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8 Responses to Sacred Encounters

  1. Diane says:

    Pam, I love the title “Sacred Encounters”…. beautiful!

    This is a precious post that shows us your precious heart. In reaching out to minister to another, you too were ministered to. That is just like our Jesus…

    I’m glad the shower was such a precious time for you. I know it was for “she”. God bless you.

  2. Sometimes titles just “pop” into my mind… that’s the way with this one. I love that no matter where we are, or how “under” it we may feel, the Holy Spirit is always beside us, in us, ready to help us be His gift one to the other… I hope this story reflects His heart most of all and uplifts us each to looking for such moments… 🙂 Yes, that is just like Him. Thanks, Diane!

  3. lolitavalle says:

    Yes, I love the title too, “Sacred Encounter,” Prayer prompts which benefit both ways. Precious, grace filled moments.

    Bless this friend, Oh dear God, and may Jesus’ wounds redeem her health to normal, or under control, to stable. Let not circumstances put her down and breath into her you precious Healing Song, dear God. Immerse her with happy moments, with her family and friends. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

    And for you, Pam…… I lift up to God, your writing, which never fail to minister to me…. towards healing and celebration of life. A friendship I so hold in my heart as precious. I too have Sacred Encounters with them.

    God bless you, dear friend.

  4. What a lovely, generous heart you have. I have enjoyed having conversations with you this week and think you are a dear friend to pray for her in concern like this. Those sacred encounters . . . we hold them like treasure in a box to remember His faithfulness. And I am craving one of the cupcakes now, thankyouverymuch! 🙂

    • You just made me laugh with that comment about the cupcakes! 🙂 I think I got that pic from Martha Stewart, and they actually do look like some cupcakes we had that day, only ours were chocolate.

      Thank you for those lovely words. Yes, I love the way you put that. So true… like a treasure box to remember His faithfulness. I’ve enjoyed commenting back and forth on your wonderful posts this week and look forward to more… The story about Patrick and England reminded me of my friends who have such charming elderly relatives in Ireland. I love getting to know your heart in your writing too. And how reading blog stories like yours is like “uplifting each other with hymns and songs and words of joy in the Lord…” That’s what I hope to do here too…

  5. We all have something we struggle with, and that silent prayer does wonders to lift us up. Thank you for sharing such a lovely memory on your post.

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