Monday, December 7, 2009

His hands and feet.

Last week was busy, busy with the pulling together of Mercy Street's luncheon.

It ended up being fabulous and full to the brim with friends who came to hear the story and support what we're doing.

We were incredibly blessed.

And stressed.

There are so many little details that go into an event like this one and thankfully, my mother-in-law is a 'many little details' type of gal.  She remembers everything - from who's responded and where they're sitting to exactly how many pieces of fried chicken the average person will eat.

It's a gift.

Right in the middle of the day on Wednesday, when we were running around tying up all the loose ends, one of our mentors walked through the doors in somewhat of a panic.

Alan has been a mentor for years now and is incredibly faithful to his student.  The relationship has been rocky, and difficult, and certainly not ideal.  Sometimes, it's akward.  Sometimes, they don't have anything to talk about.  Sometimes, all they talk about is homework.

Alan knows this because, over the course of the semester, Wilber has been asking him to come out to the house late at night to help him with his homework.

The child and his mother had moved in with her boyfriend and apparently, the student wanted Alan there with him late at night.

Wednesday afternoon, when Alan burst through the doors, he found himself again, entirely out of his comfort zone.

Wilber had called and asked Alan to come spend time with him once again because Tuesday night, Wilber's mother had been murdered by her boyfriend.

Alan was understandably unsure of how to comfort this young man in this heartbreaking time but what blessed me so much was the fact that he was there.   He didn't know all the answers and didn't even know what he was going to say to this young man.  He was nervous but he was there.  He had left work and come halfway across town in the middle of the morning to do what he had promised - to put feet on his commitment to be a caring Christian adult in the life of this child and walk with him until he graduated from high school.

Wilber wasn't calling because he wanted to go to a movie, or to dinner, or to Six Flags.  He didn't want to be entertained, he just wanted someone to sit with him, someone he could count on, who he's been able to count on in the past, while he dealt with the horror before him.

The Lord is so faithful to use us, in our weakness when we make ourselves available and that's what Alan did.  It's never what we bring to the table that gets us anywhere.  That stuff usually just ends up as baggage anyway, hindering us and tripping us up.  Instead, He prepares a table for us - a feast.  Then He clothes us, equips us, and even goes before us as He transforms us, amidst our weakness, into His hands and feet. 

I'm so thankful for the example Alan was to me last week.  It was a great reminder that, if we wait until we have all the answers, until it all works seamlessly and plays out well on paper, we'll miss the opportunity to do exactly what we've been called to do - to come when He calls and carry one another's burderns with them - sometimes, for them.


Traci said...

Holy cow. I've never seen anyone go from fried to chicken to murder as seamlessly as you did- that is quite a gift as was your story. Tell all of your Alan's that we are so thankful for what they do. We'll be praying for that boy. Mmmm- talk about perspective. God Speed to all of you.

Becca said...

girl you are seriously the best writer. And thank-you for sharing these stories. I will be praying for Alan and his mentee too . . . I cannot even imagine.

Thanks too for the reminder to just step out in faith, to do what we're called to do, regardless of if everything is perfectly lined up or not.

Knittinchick said...

I'm praying for that awesome mentor and his mentee. What a gift he is to that kid.

Guard Wife said...

What a blessing Alan is and a wonderful example of what it means to be in the thick of things, no matter what.

Thank you for sharing this story. You had me rolling right along and then the bottom fell out of my stomach when I read about the mother. Thank God for a mentor who is willing to go above & beyond.

These Three Kings said...

wow..I will be praying for the both of them

Thanks for sharing...

Candy said...

Hats off to Hannah & Melissa! The mother in law who may remember details cannot enter those details on spread sheets or do just about anything technological. Without the loving help of my darling daughter in law and sweet Hannah, the luncheon would not have been possible. Praise the Lord for His grace and faithfulness to us!
And, yes: Alan is an example of "faith expressing itself in love". May God continue to encourage, sustain, and help him through this journey with Wilber.


Jill said...

I love telling your story. This past weekend I had the chance of telling it to our pastor and most of it he was shaking his head in wonder at the obedience your family and friends operate in... Alan is another fine example of how relationship is the key to all adversities. Wilber will never be the same because of Jesus, but Alan was Jesus in the flesh. WHEW! How was the snow welcomed in your neighborhood? Today is one of those days I would like to run errands and stop for a hot chocolate and chat....a girl can dream...right?

Best Life said...

How do you do that? I'm going along thinking I'm fine. Things are OK. Then boom. Wilbur.

Thanks for the constant reminder. Living on a farm has its lessons for sure. But they're so different than the lessons I learn through you. Thanks Melissa. We're praying for Mercy Street. Lisa~

coneymama said...

My prayers are with Wilbur and Alan. May Wilbur feel the loving arms of Jesus around him. God Bless you Melissa, God bless Alan and God bless Mercy Street.

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KristenJ said...

I have been following your blog for about a year and always love your posts. Thank you for sharing your life and all that God is doing through Mercy Street and those involved with this ministry. I was watching something today and thought of you all. You may have already seen this but if not, I think you all will enjoy it. It reminds me of what you all are doing....

Anonymous said...

My mentoring hasn't been going great lately. Thanks for the reminder to be there no matter how it's going.

allthingsjuice said...

Wow. My heart and prayers go out to Wilbur. What a burden to carry.

Abby said...

Wow-I'm sitting here in awe. I just can't imagine. That sweet boy, and his sweet mentor. Definitely lays heavy on my heart. Praying for all involved.

rebellutz said...

Just catching up on your blog (which I love!)and as always I am awakened from my routine to the big picture God has for all of us. My world is too small! You and your precious family are an inspiration to me and so many of us who have our toe in the water but are hesitant to jump in - waiting for the "perfect time", like 18 months from now when the last chick leaves the nest. (like serving, loving, ministering in a bigger world would not be good for him to be a part of). Thank you!!! Give Wilbur a huge hug from me!