Pools are forming around every tree as rain pours from booming thunderous clouds and lightning flashes across the already bright sky. Again hammering thunder and lightning booms and cracks across the sky… more rain now soaks everything in sight. Flashes of lightning seem to introduce more striking booms of thunder, ushering in more showers of rain.
The breeze is fresh and aromatic, the greens, reds, yellows and whites are more brilliant, more fragrant, than earlier in the morning sunlight. The sheer curtains are billowing in the strong breezes. We’ve just finished another lunch on the lanai and we’ve been studying the travel guide and planner to see what tomorrow holds for us: another day in paradise.
More with the passing of each day here, we’re staggered by the reality that this is the Lord’s doing and it is, truly, marvelous in our eyes. You know how I say, when something’s so big – so amazing – even so difficult to fathom: this is so big, the Lord must be in it. Well, that’s just exactly what I’m thinking of this whole Hawaiian adventure – this dream. For it truly is so big – God must be in it.
Every day we ask each other: do you know why we’re here yet? And, so far, every day I say or he says, no… no, I don’t know yet. So, every day we’re looking for the King. We’re looking to see where Jesus is and where He wants us to be, what He wants us to do.
We decided to go to a presentation this morning — we knew it would likely be a “waste” of their time since we’re clearly not in a position to take advantage of “once-in-a-lifetime” low rates and “last chance” opportunity to invest in a vacation club membership. But it wasn’t a waste.
Through the whole presentation, we were able to have more personal conversation with the representative — a pleasant guy who was more than willing to share about his life and family when asked. After a series of introductory questions we conveyed that we had, perhaps, a whole different view of vacation. And, somewhere along the way, I think he must’ve suspected we weren’t going to be buyers – but he wasn’t certain. At the close of the presentation (after a couple more representatives stopped by the table to ‘sweeten the deal’ for us), we were able to ask Steve if he had a spiritual background. When he related that it had been sporadic but told of being an alter boy and spending time in church with a grandmother, we asked a few more questions and had a good conversation. To the last question, he answered Wes by saying he knew if he died today he’d probably go to heaven – being a good person and believing there’s a God. As we talked a little more, he was tearful as he related that he really wanted to be a good dad, that he missed his wife (both not on the Island, currently) and wanted to get things right. We told him we’d keep in in prayer and would write to him. He seemed genuinely glad.
As we prepared to go, another gentleman came to our table — this conversation was probably the most pleasant as we could simply relate that we weren’t going to be purchasing any package — not simply because of the expense, but because we couldn’t just walk in and make such a great financial decision in a 2 hour space of time. Even if we had the money. We related that though we were the blessed recipients of this luxurious trip, this is not “normal” o-o.
As we talked, he asked incredulously, do you really have eleven kids? And are some of your kids really in mission work? Then, stammering, he began: Are you… And we said, interrupting his question (you had to know it was going to be one of the three: mormon, catholic, crazy), no, we’re not mormon, not catholic (and didn’t tell him we weren’t crazy). He asked what religion or denomination… and we said we’re Christians — just following Jesus. So eleven kids… I have four, he marveled, and asked how that came about that we had so many. So, we told him that through a series of events we just came to the decision to make the Lord be Lord of the womb as He was and is Lord of our lives. And we just waited on Him — everything’s been His – His provision, His blessing. We did say that they didn’t all come at once — laughing, he said, yeah… it’s not like a lot of kids are a litter. We laughed and said yes, we get this response a lot and want to ease people’s concern… and tell them, they came along one at a time… the oldest being nearly 32 and the youngest nearly 10 years old.
Our conversation continued with him telling of his life here on the Island, his decision to head back to the mainland and, most importantly, that he is a believer. We talked further about his walk with the Lord, and what the Lord is doing in his life. He told us of being a part of a house church here on the Island and how he came to Christ through a series of meetings at Calvary Chapel in Ca. He shared some marvelous things the Lord had done for him and for his family. He continued talking with us for a bit — but we felt the need to draw the time to a close, knowing that he was busy after all and this wasn’t part of the business. Anyway… we parted — both knowing the Lord had been in our midst. He thanked us for coming. The Diamond Card we received as a parting gift will enable to receive discounted rates at local businesses while we’re here. But we were thinking we already received some precious gems in conversation today.
As we walked back to our place, we were both thankful to the Lord for providing us with great opportunities today. The rain continues to fall like diamonds from the sky.