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To Give Him a Smile…

February 5, 2016

Just before the sun set in the sky, I walked down to check on a friend who had a fever.  She was sitting where I usually find her, just down from her house at the waiting area of a “store,” although it’s not a store by anyone who might be reading this’ standards… It’s not even as stocked as a little league baseball concession stand, but a “store” nonetheless.  I sat by her and felt her head and asked how she was feeling.  She said, “That medicine that you give is good Sister”… (That would be extra strength Tylenol.) 🙂 Then, a woman, I have seen periodically since I have been back, came and stood in front of me.

I don’t know her.  She wasn’t here before I left.  All I knew up to this point, was that she was the sister of the man who owns the store.  I had commented one day on what she was doing.  She had a bowl of chicken heads and feet, and it looked like she was de-skinning them.  (Is that a word?)  I think I had said something like, ‘Oh barbecue!’  Or something silly like that… just to make conversation rather than just awkwardly passing by, but not really succeeding.

Anyway, now she stood before me, speaking as if someone had turned on the faucet.  She poured out her heart to me, speaking in English and Tagalog.  She said that she was so glad that we are here, and that she came from Manila, where she used to be involved in a born again church. (That’s what they call a Protestant church here in the Philippines.) She continued that she was there, at church, basically every time the doors were open and even had been going, on and off, since she was in 3rd grade.  She said she read her Bible all the time and even taught… but her baby got sick.  She prayed for him, but he died when he was only two.  She continued that she asked God why He would do that when she gave Him everything.  She kept talking, not really leaving room for me to say anything, which was good, because I didn’t know what to say.  She said she didn’t pass her trial because she stopped going.  She said that was in 2006 and she is living here now because her husband is seeing someone else.  She has many more children as old as 19.  After listening to her heartbreaking story, and seeing the tears come and go in her eyes, it was time for me to speak.  I had no idea what to say.  What could I say?  I told her I have never lost a child and I cannot even begin to imagine how hard that would be.  I told her that I am glad we are here too.  She asked when our services are.  I told her Wednesday nights at 6 and Sundays at 8 for children, and 10 for adults.  Those are our scheduled times anyway, but living among the people, we tend to have church daily in one way or another.  She said she is in the market selling on Sundays.  I told her she is welcome anytime and hopefully she can come.  She said she prayed and asked the Lord to be a part of His family again.  I said some other stuff too, but not incredibly wise.  Later, is when all the verses, and what I should or could have saids, came to mind.  She didn’t come Wednesday… Pray for her with me.  I will go down and visit her again.

Yesterday, Daddy asked Angel to say the blessing at dinner.  She prayed for the food, but mostly about school.  She kept asking God to make the kids nice and not mean and repeated such things in various ways.  I noticed it was not her usual prayer.  Before filling her plate with food, she got up, came to where I was standing in the kitchen, and said, “Momma, I need to talk to you in your room.”  I went in with her.  She began by saying she always breaks things. (Earlier she had broken a new coffee cup and confessed teary-eyed.  I told her it was ok. It was just an accident.) She mentioned the coffee cup again and some things she had broke while I was gone.  She said, “I’m always doing bad things, Momma.”

I said again, “Angel, those are just things, and those are just accidents so it’s ok.”  I tried to make her smile by saying, “Kendall broke a lot of things too, remember?”

Then she lunged into my chest, burying her face, as she spoke through tears, “I always say bad words at school Momma, and sometimes I be mean, and I lie all the time. I try to stop but I still do it and I don’t know why. It’s like the devil makes me do it.”

I had to ask her to repeat some of that, as it was hard to understand what she was saying.

I got down and told her, “Angel… it shows that you have a good heart because you know it’s wrong and you want to stop doing these things.  The devil can’t make you do anything.  You always have a choice, and if you want to stop in here (I pointed at her heart) enough, then you will.  Pray for God to give you that strength.  Did you know that I used to say bad words, when I was younger?”  She shook her head no.  “Do you know why?”  She continued shaking her head.  “Because I wanted all the kids to like me and think I was cool.  But it didn’t make cool.  It didn’t make me happy either… or God.  I don’t do that now, and you know what,” She sniffed as I continued, “It makes God smile.”

This morning, before she left for school, I got down and prayed with her.  We asked the Lord for strength to make the right choices, and for all the choices we make today to give Him a smile.  She smiled when we were through and hollered, “Thank you Momma!” as she trotted down the path.

I had no idea that was going on in her life, but I am glad her little heart is being worked on by our loving,caring Heavenly Father.

2 Comments leave one →
  1. Henrietta Petty permalink
    February 5, 2016 6:05 pm

    Oh Mandie you have a gift. Thank you for sharing your gift, and your heart with your FB friends.

    Sent from my iPhone


  2. February 8, 2016 2:48 am

    We will be praying too for Angel! Praying that your little darling will continue to have a contrite heart. You shared the sweetest words with her – you are an amazing momma!

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