Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Sphere of Influence

Last week after a play group at church, I made my way into the church library. Our church has a pretty organized, well laid out, nice sized library with a wonderful variety. Usually I would make my way to the "Elizabeth George-esque" section or something historical/fictional with a little Christian romance in there. But, this tiny little book with a red flame for some reason caught my attention...I picked it for inspection - "hmmmm, a story about a missionary and her hubby". Ok, I've read books like this before. So I put it back down and went about looking onto other shelves. But, and this sounds so silly and weirdo/mystical-ish, I just felt like I was supposed to read that book. So I back tracked, picked it up, stamped it with the check out stamp, stashed it in my bag and left. Not a second thought about it... until this afternoon. I started on the foreward (by Ruth Bell Graham) this afternoon and kept on reading - it's difficult to put down! And, even in chapter one I see why I needed to read this book. I'd like to share a few paragraphs and challenge you on something. Who are you influencing? or... rather, who is in your sphere of influence? Rosalind Goforth credits two people below - and totally blew my mind today.
"One of the most precious memories of those early years was when mother permitted me to accompany her to Montreal, some four miles west of our home. The first place visited was the old and interesting Bonsecours Market. In close proximity to the market was the great Notre Dame Cathedral. When finished with her marketing, mother would say, "Now, child, we will go into the cathedral; I need quiet." Mother was not roman catholic, nor had she any tendency that way. She was the mother of a very large family, and upon her rested the responsibility of making - or trying to make - both ends meet on an artists uncertain income. Her problems were many. Can we wonder, therefore, that she craved for just such a haven as was to be found within the quiet, restful cathedral! ... Never can I forget the hour, sometimes longer, when mother knelt in perfect stillness with face covered. Close beside her I sat, gazing in wonder at what to my childs fancy was all marvelous beauty and grandeur. ...Not only on those visits to the cathedral but in other ways and at other times I came to see mothers source of strength was in prayer and in definitely claiming some promise in the Word."

"There were other blessed, molding influences besides mother. One that stands out most clearly will be mentioned - that of a sunday school teacher. No special word or lesson can I recall of this teacher; even her name is forgotten; but all down the years has remained the memory of the sweet fragrance of her Christlike presence. was the longing just to watch this teacher's face and feel her tender, loving spirit; this was sufficient. I saw in her what I longed even then desperately to be. (O sunday school teachers, take courage!)

Wow. I closed the book after finishing the chapter and just swallowed. And of course a specific 50 some teens came to mind... and not just teens, but, people I see every day, cashiers and postal workers, my husband daughter. Isn't it neat how God knows what we NEED to read? He cares even about the little things like that.

Luke 6: 44
"Each tree is recognized by its own fruit."

1 comment:

beccarankin said...

Wow, that was so good. Thanks for sharing that portion of the book. It made me think of my world, as little as it has become, and how I am being an influence. Good and bad. Unfortunately the Bad comes out often around home. So, thank you so much for sharing what God was challenging you with.