Today is Friday, February 3rd, 2006; Karen's Korner #730
Whenever we travel, I take along a handful of devotional booklets which I have written, to give to others. Going to Hawaii was no exception!
As many as I have given away, one would think that by now it would be easy for me. It isn't; it always takes me awhile to get comfortable. Until I get started!
I don't know if it is because I don't know the people who I give them too well or if I feel that I am pushing myself. No matter. Most of them went to some of the 80 people traveling with us on our tour group. Once booklets like mine are in their hands, the discussion on churches, being a Christian, faith begins!! People love to share their faith and experiences.......
One lady, who was traveling alone, was a retired college professor who taught nursing. Now she is writing a textbook on remaining healthy throughout the stages of life. She told about trying to teach prospective nurses about the role faith plays in remaining and returning to good health; and how she had to fight to be allowed that type of instruction. But she got the right, because she said, "It plays a role in health." Her new textbook is going to include chapters on the role spiritual and culture issues play in maintaining good health.
One guy got a copy of a book and could see my style of writing. At least three times, he would call me over: when we were looking at the aftermath of a volcano eruption, the sun rising, and the waves splashing on to the shore. He would say, "Here is a devotional. Don't you see it?" No, I didn't see it! And he would describe what he was seeing and thinking. They will probably be devotionals in the future!
A gal from northwestern Iowa, who wrote part-time for the local newspaper, shared about a story she had written about a small church in a neighboring town. The church was down to seven or eight families when their pastor left. They were faced with the prospect of closing the church's door. They decided, they would 'do-it themselves'! That was a handful of years ago and the church is thriving with over 100 members. While they employ a retired pastor to preach a little over 60% of the time on Sunday mornings, they still don't have a minister. They have decided that each one of them is the minister to their church family, to their community, and to others!!
The Sunday we were on the island of Hawaii, we were in the famous town of Kona, where the Iron Man Triatholon is held annually in October. We decided to attend the oldest church on the island. It was a Congregational Church, started by missionaries to Hawaii in 1820. I had three of my most recent devotional booklets with me, intending to share them with a couple of church members after the worship service. As we waited for the service to begin, seated on some benches outside of the church, a homeless man came by. All of his belongs were in a grocery cart which were being pulled by four full-grown dogs. He talked with several of us who were seated there, before he mosied on down the street. I did give three of my booklets to church people as I had planned. But later, I thought, "Why didn't I offer him a copy?"
And I thought of Jesus and how He was always concerned about the "least of these". I would have felt bad about the missed opportunity, until God's gentle nudge: "we are all the least of these........"