Monday, August 16, 2021

Step Wisely


Why in heaven's name would I open a blog post with a picture of my foot?!

There is a reason, I can promise you.  

This is a picture that Parker took of Noni's foot during a recent "photo shoot" he was doing.  (Please be reminded Parker is three years old and things have a different perspective from the vantage point of being 2 1/2 feet tall.)

Here's the picture he snapped of his mom who was finishing her makeup in Noni's office.  Great composition with his use of the door, don't you think?  He must have his dad's eye for photography.

As I scrolled back through pictures and wondered what I could use to encourage you today, I laughed aloud when I saw the picture of my foot.  We were trying to entertain Parker until time for his class that Sunday morning.  He grabbed my phone and proceeded to snap over twenty pictures in and around my office.  I will spare you wading through the rest but some were hysterical.  Ah, the eyes of a child.

Looking at his pictures brought back to mind a little song I learned when I was myself a three year old child.  Perhaps you learned it as well.  One of the verses went like this, "Oh be careful little feet where you go. Oh be careful little feet where you go.  For the Father up above is looking down in love so be careful little feet where you go."  

I spent several minutes pondering the truth of that simple line from the perspective of my own life.  

Although I've experienced quite a few detours and missed exits on my life journey, I've always tried to keep a mindset that my steps mattered. I've prayed to know direction about everything from lunch dates to a life mate.  I just always wanted my steps to be appropriate and God honoring.

Never in a million years could I ever have guessed that stepping toward Frank as my life mate would lead to three precious daughters, three amazing sons (in-law) and now NINE practically perfect grandchildren.  And all those people have been watching to see if I choose steps walking me toward God's will.

Is this not the most honest picture ever?!

Two weeks ago, Frank and I had the privilege to attend a denominational conference which brought ministers from all over the nation to Orlando.  Since we've been part of this organization for decades, the conference is always like a huge family reunion. We love seeing friends from college days, others we've pastored near and even many spiritual children who have served with us at different times. 

We especially enjoy reconnecting with many of our missionary friends who happen to be in the States for the event.  Frank and I were even invited to attend a luncheon where there would be a report on a missions organization we currently support.

I sent a text to our friend who is the director and offered to help in any way since we live in the area.  She responded quickly asking if we would be willing to arrive early and serve as greeters for the other guests.  

Now, some people might have been offended by such a request.  "Hold the door and give directions?  Are you kidding?  Don't they know who we are?"  But Frank and I were delighted to serve as the welcoming committee.  We love people and greeting is as natural for us as breathing.

Little did I suspect that the Lord had prepared a divine appointment for me on that path of service.  

We did arrive before anyone else and stationed ourselves at the entrance of the restaurant. We welcomed several couples, always introducing ourselves then moving them on toward the banquet area. But the next couple caught me completely by surprise.  

Before I could offer my name the young lady said,  "You're Sheri Hawley, aren't you?!"  I checked my name tag and jokingly assured her I was.  She went on, "Of course I know you.  You spoke for a conference I was attending almost twenty years ago.  While listening to you, the Lord confirmed a call He had for my life."

My mouth dropped open a bit and tears stung my eyes almost immediately.  She reached to give me a huge, warm hug and I tried not to drip tears on her shoulder.  It was humbling and exhilarating all at the same time.  How often do we find out in such a literal way that our footsteps have created a pathway for someone else to follow?  

Crystal and I captured a quick photo together

"Oh, be careful little feet where you go."  

I'm so glad I didn't miss the opportunity to meet Crystal because I was too proud to hold open a door. Choosing to walk with gratitude on a short pathway of service led to a most joyful moment.

Psalm 34:8 was a perfect description of that moment for me.  "Taste and see that the Lord is good.  Oh, the joys of those who take refuge in him!" 

Be encouraged, Dear Reader.  Your steps do matter.  Someone is watching, contemplating and most likely following in the pathway you've forged.  Be careful to step wisely!


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