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|They held a motorcycle ride/luncheon fundraising benefit for Jeff Stafford over at the Hale House last Saturday. Jeff is currently battling cancer, and the event was held to help defray some of the medical costs associated with his illness.
Jeff was in worship on Sunday, and after the service I asked him how it all came out. He told me it raised a lot of money, and for that he was extremely grateful. But, he said, the blessing of the day went far beyond things monetary.
Jeff said that he met with some of the newcomers to the program on Saturday night. Often they will gather at the end of the day to sort of compare notes on where they are with their respective programs of recovery, and to basically just talk. Theres something about the beginnings of placing some distance between your active sickness and your new sobriety that offers a perspective that is both refreshing and ennobling.
That is to say that when we fully surrender to God - when we get completely honest and admit to God that we are beyond handling life on our own we begin to see the hand of God in the most unlikely places.
Jeff told me that as they talked on Saturday night the young men began to talk about how God had been in that room at the luncheon. They said there was such happiness, such a feeling of sustained joy, that it could have been no other than the presence of God.
I went to the luncheon myself. I have never been in a noisier place. The room was wall-to-wall people, and each was talking loud enough to be heard which means that everyone was shouting. I have to admit that it was an awful lot of fun to finally not be the only one in the room who couldnt hear!
Now, thats not exactly the venue in which one would be looking for the still, small voice of God. But, in the din of it all, those young men heard Gods voice. They felt Gods presence, and that makes me feel incredibly good about those young men. In fact, their observations are a good reminder that God is everywhere, and God is in every worthwhile endeavor, regardless of what the decibel level might be.
So, thank you for helping out with the fund raiser for Jeff. It not only raised a good bit of money, but it also brought a group of young men a little further along their way toward an understanding of the abiding presence of God.
Even in our raucousness God is with us. I like that. I like that a lot.
And Ill see you Sunday.
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