We walked up the driveway, cold misty rain spraying us as we ducked under the porch awning. He pressed the bell, I held my breath…
My introverted self had played scenarios in my mind, as I often do. What will she say? Will I have to speak much? Sometimes, they ignore me completely and I sink deep into the couch while my anxious thoughts are eased by the melodic hum of banter between my husband and the curious person opposite the room. I find solace in those brief moments as I feel the spotlight pointed another direction.
The door opened swiftly, we awkwardly embraced a stranger and as we entered her Seattle Colonial a basket of hand knitted slippers greeted our icy toes. “Pick whichever color you want, but put them on to keep your feet warm.” came the offer from the French-Canadian host. We slid into our cozies and made our way to the living room for an afternoon chat.
My husband to the left of me, a lovely local Pastor in the recliner adjacent. He sat perched on the edge as if ready to take flight… our eyes transfixed on the legacy which sat comfortably in the corner lazy-boy. Her Bible prominent on the end table just in view of the sliding door where I watched a plump squirrel gather the nuts she had tossed out for him the day before.
The conversation rolled on like a small boat drifting upon the waves. Questions and responses and then a trail… a “rabbit trail” so wide that it caught my attention and held me like the grip of a Grandpa pinching my cheeks between finger and thumb. The two companions sought out stories of the late Jim Watt, scholar and influencer of the Latter Rain Movement of 1948. They longed to hear how he led the ‘Heavenly Choir’ and stories of the angelic.
Yet the trail had somehow led to a leaky roof. She glanced my way and said, “Jim wasn’t much of a handy-man, he was reserved for the ministry and often in his studies. I on the other hand was left run the house, raise the children and also be ready to minister with him at the altar.” She went on to tell me a story, a very profound story in the eyes of a preacher’s wife. She told of a time when a minister from India had been traveling to speak as a guest and they had gone into revival. The meetings went from being one night to all week long. This guest had only brought one dress shirt and it was Marie’s honor to wash, dry, and press that shirt each day before the nightly meeting. The only problem was… they didn’t have a washer and dryer.
All week long she faithfully cleaned that shirt, cared for her children, and provided meals without saying a word of complaint to anyone. Then she said it was the last night and she desperately wanted to be at the meeting, but didn’t know how. It was then that the phone rang, a woman in the church had volunteered to cook the family meals that day and another to babysit the young children. Marie was on her way to the meeting!
When the guest minister found out that she didn’t have a washer and dryer and had been cleaning his shirts by hand each day, he prayed especially for the provision to come. Marie sat there gazing over at me fidgeting with the chipping nail polish on my thumbs. Yet she continued on, retracing the events of the month that followed and a special offering that was taken up just for her & Jim. The Pastor had said, there was a need only they knew about and God wanted to provide and boy did He! That night they received enough finances to purchase a brand new washer and dryer.
I sat engrossed in the details as she shared, “I loved to minister with Jim. God always made a way for me to be there. Even with the children. That’s why our ministry is called ‘Two Are Better Than One’, because you need each other.”
My heart lit aflame in a way only a wife and mother would understand. You are not overlooked, you are invaluable. This woman had spoken straight to my spirit. Her spunk and tenacity transferred as she began to pray over me. This is why I am here, this is why I sink heavy into the cushion of your sofa. To drink deep in the revelation of your life. To indulge in the richness of your story. Because though we came to hear of the angelic choirs that transformed the masses, I found the angelic song that was the very melody in your soul.