One of the most touching stories I’ve heard in a long time happened last week. A young teen and his mother showed up in the church office with twenty dollars to give to our church. The teen had earned two hundred dollars and wanted to give ten percent of his earnings to the church. He has a church home of his own, but wanted to give his tithe to the church that means so much to one of his neighbors. That neighbor is a long-time member of Midway Hills who isn’t able to be with us in worship but still feels a deep connection to the congregation and our commitment to issues of peace and justice.
I see signs of the Holy Spirit at work in this story. We don’t have to look very deep to notice that the teen is learning the joy of giving that we’ve been thinking about for the last few weeks. He is part of a community of faith and a family that are helping him discover that joy. If we look a little deeper, we discover the Holy Spirit working through the life of our long-time member who has impacted the life of a young neighbor in profoundly positive ways. Delve a little deeper and we find the legacy of Midway Hills still witnessing through a member who can no longer participate as fully in the life of the congregation as he once did. Surely, the Holy Spirit is at work in the lives of these individuals and the lives that they are touching.
One more story. In a recent exchange with someone who was a member of the Midway Hills youth group many years ago, I heard the story of a youth sponsor who impacted her life in very positive ways at a difficult time in her life. That former youth sponsor is still an active member of our congregation, still contributing to the ministries of our faith community in a variety of ways. The seeds that were planted over forty years have produced fruits not only in the life of the former youth, but also in the way she has lived her life. The positive impact of her experiences as a youth at Midway Hills has multiplied exponentially.
These are just two of the many ways that I have noticed the Holy Spirit empowering people to be instruments of peace and love in God’s world in the past week. What have you noticed? I’d love to hear your stories.