Listening to Abba: I saw Jesus today . . .

I saw Jesus today . . .

I saw Jesus today. He was wrapped in wrinkly skin with a balding head, crooked nose and a hunched back. He was teaching from the book of Revelation to a crowd of about 20 ragamuffin people in a little country church. He spoke with kindness, conviction, authority and power. His name was Ralph, age 73.

I saw Jesus today. He was wrapped in pale sagging skin, thinning gray hair, dingy teeth and compassionate eyes. He wore a dress and supportive shoes. His arm was broken and held together by a metal brace. He spoke with kindness, interest, and warmth. His name was Elaine, age 69.

Ralph and Elaine Gardner are pastor and pastor's wife of Grace Fellowship Church in Oneonta, AL. They invited us (Sharon and me) to share about Discovery Clubs at their church today. They have a passion for Christ, the church, and the lost. The instant I met them I felt at home.

Ralph and Elaine took us to Taco Bell after church. Over tacos, we learned more about them, their family, and their lives. Ralph is a retired Chaplain, Elaine a retired nurse. Upon retirement they sold their house and spent 6 years touring the country in an RV ministering to other Pastors and Pastor's wives.

Two years ago they were asked to be interim pastor of the church in Oneonta. They said yes and are still there. They are still living in an RV.

They don't have much by way of this world. They don't want for much. They pure and simple are sold out to Jesus and offer their weak, aging bodies to His service and to His glory. I'm confident they will do that until He calls them home to glory.

I wish you could have met them and experienced what I experienced today. When I got back in the car after lunch, I laid my head on the steering wheel and cried. Not because I felt sorry for them, but because I had just been in the presence of Jesus. I had just stood on holy ground. I was humbled.

Through my tears I said to Sharon, "These are the hall of fame people that Hebrews 11 talks about."
Hebrews 11 says, "This world is not worthy of them." I agree.

Yep, I saw Jesus today. I got to hug Him too. It was very, very sweet. His presence still lingers.

2 comments:

  1. What a beautiful experience, thank you for sharing.

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  2. Hi Kinsey-

    Wow - I feel like I was there with you, and it was a privilege. I'll bet the world is full of these hidden heroes. I can't wait to meet them in heaven.

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