Yesterday as we came home from church eager to watch the Super Bowl (Go Saints!), a car belonging to a young woman who lives with us was parked sideways across our cul-de-sac. She and a few of her friends -- some young local marines-- were trying to figure out how a nail in a tire could have ended so badly. Apparently, her car's brake system froze up when she tried to drive with the spare on it. Now it wouldn't go forward or backward. Joe had them put the original tire back on, we prayed a lot, and were finally able to get the car, squealing all the way, up to the curb once again.
Last night Joe and I were processing how we could help this young woman who has no money, no job and no options to get this car fixed. Why are we in this predicament? Because a few years ago I sensed the Holy Spirit nudging me to find a way to minister to those in prison. Little did I know the paths my 'yes' was going to take me. To make a long story short, a beautiful young woman who came to Christ through our ministry there needed a place to stay when she got out, and once again, there was that nudge of the Spirit. That's what happens when you choose to follow Jesus -- one thing is always going to lead to another, (which may explain why I so often find myself resisting those initial urges).
Honestly though, it has been a joy to have her here. Watching her try to navigate her new life -- enrolling in school, trying to get a job, etc. -- has opened my eyes to the numbers of young people, who for all practical purposes have no parents to look out for them as they seek to enter adulthood. This young woman left home because of abuse as a 13 year old, fending for herself and using every means possible to get by in this world, which basically explains how she ended up in the brig.
So last night I was lamenting to Joe that if this were our own child, we would find a way to get the car fixed and what in the world do these thousands of parent-less children do when life throws them a curve ball like this? I believe I was really feeling the Lord's heart in that moment, but we still weren't sure what we were to do, primarily because we had no idea what the thing might cost and whether we could even manage it if we wanted to.
This morning my words came back to haunt me when our 23 year old son, (who lives with us so he can get out of debt) called to say his car had caught on fire on the freeway. Thankfully he managed to get it to the side of the road and get himself out without injury, but it looks like that trusty toyota corolla may be headed for the junkyard. You have to smile at the irony of the whole thing, if only to keep from crying.
What's amazing is the amount of calm I feel about all of this. After the initial shock, I began to realize that this is an opportunity for us all to watch how God will work. I've seen His faithfulness all my life, but these two young people haven't, and I know He wants to show them His love and trustworthiness. I'm looking forward to the process, even as I realize this is going to cost us, one way or the other.
And that's the thing about being intentional, about listening to the Lord's voice and living in intimate communion with Him. This journey with Jesus has a price, but oh what a ride He takes us on! And I, for one, wouldn't have it any other way.