Friday, September 18, 2009

Giving the Scarves

On the morning we displayed the scarves for our church family and prayed over our ministry, a woman found me after a service. She said she ministers in a local prison, where she has enjoyed watching an inmate come to know Christ as her Savior. The prisoner found "real freedom" in Christ and heard about "Scarves for Romania." She made a bag of beautiful handmade scarves and wondered if I would take them. Of course! :) It was the icing on the cake for gifts going to women serving in a post-Communist nation where freedom is still young enough to be fresh.

Each scarf represented a story of the woman who gave it. As the final session in Romania approached, my heart was full. I heard some of their stories and was impressed by how alike the women in my church they are in their pains, worries, burdens, and hopes. My heart was full with God's exhortation for His people to show His nature to the world, to adorn Him as a clean "scarf" woven thru a not-so-lovely world. After studying First Thessalonians with the women, I felt Paul's words were mine, that the understanding and faithfulness of those I was shepherding would be my "joy and crown."

As I shared from God's Word, it spoke for itself. Old and New Testaments flowed naturally together, as if tied by a ... scarf. :) God's hopes and intentions for us became clear. I could "see" understanding washing over faces and shining in the eyes of my sisters in Christ. When it came time to uncover the great heap of gifts, they understood why they were receiving scarves and what they were to remember as they wore them and passed on the extras.

I watched with a full and prayerful heart as they carefully chose a scarf for themselves and then came back to choose for their partnering sisters. I almost laughed out loud with joy to watch them choose from the wide array. Knowing them for just a few days, I watched each finding a scarf that seemed like it was sent just for her. They were. Many expressions of gratitude passed in broken English and through my translator, Cristina. It was like music.

When all was quiet I found several scarves left unclaimed on the table; no one wanted to "take the last." A gentle lady came to me with a translating friend and asked, "There is a very poor woman in one of our village churches. She has 3 sons and could really use these last scarves, if it would be okay." Unlike many of the "girlie" colors, these last scarves were just the right colors to be loved by a boy. They were divinely set aside.

It was a joy to give the scarves, but it was sweeter to know they were sent with prayers by those who gave them and the many who heard of and saw them. They were given from hearts that grew in their thoughts for the world. Even in a year of uncertain economy, it's within reach to give a scarf ... and encouragement with it. A simple scarf from one believer to another can be a beautiful gift and a reminder that there is joy in being faithful for His "renown, praise, and glory" (Jeremiah 13).

1 COMMENTS ~ Click here to leave a COMMENT:

Heidi Pocketbook said...

This is amazing. I love seeing the joy on their faces!