Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. (1 John 4:7)
Tuesday mornings, I typically drop Zach off at Guerin Catholic then I head to Our Lady of Mt. Carmel for mass. Today was no different. Kneeling down to pray, I glanced up to the credence table and noticed a large silver chalice sitting on it, and I smiled. You see, this means that the tall, sarcastic human who really brought me to Jesus is celebrating this mass. I happily spent a few minutes there praying for Fr. Richard, because, well….the devil is no fan of this holy priest. I was thinking “this is going to be a good day!” Oh gosh, I had no idea how right I was about to be!
After mass was over, I zipped up my coat to head out, and I was stopped by a familiar face. Her smile was radiant, and her greeting was warm, but the truth is, I truly didn’t know Deanne Miller…until today. She handed me a beautiful bag with a book inside and she said, “This is awkward, but I feel like the Holy Spirit is calling me to give you this book. Also, I just kinda think I want to be your friend.” Who can resist the loveliness of that? NOT I, that is for darn sure!
Deanne went on to explain that she had stumbled upon this blog, then there were lots of other nice words…and that she felt a connection of some kind. She wondered if we might have coffee sometime. I replied, “Well, I’m free right now?”
What I learned over coffee is that not only is Deanne brave and ridiculously affirming, she’s also the mother to four children (Sydney, Maci, Austin, and Evan) whose names I’ve probably just misspelled or screwed up entirely. She’s also the wife to a surgeon named Mike. I don’t know a lot more about any of them, except that it was clear IN SECONDS that these are five humans who are loved beyond measure. Those young people and that smart man who married Deanne are unbelievably blessed. Not unlike Our Blessed Mother, this is a woman whose soul magnifies the Lord. These are not words I write flippantly, people. I’m not kidding you. She’s a stunning woman– inside and out. To be candid, I was kind of interiorly freaking out as she said one holy and glorious thing after another and I thought to myself, “She wants to be MY friend? Holy crap, Lord. You sent me Deanne Miller! What the what?!”
After we spoke and her beautiful words settled on me, she said, “Please don’t write about me.” Oh, poor Deanne. She doesn’t know me well enough to know that we were UTTERLY past the point of no return on today’s entry. Jesus sends me someone whose words make my heart burn with love for Him, but I am supposed to overlook her in my blog which is titled “HE NEVER MISSES”? Hahahaha!! I will at least apologize for the old photo I’m posting of her totally gorgeous family, but it was all I could locate quickly to steal off the internet.
Deanne taught me something today. She isn’t waiting on the next guy to make a move. She’s just out there loving people fearlessly. I felt my heart enlarge in her presence. The move she called awkward shoving a book at me after mass and asking to get to know me better? I’m going to name it foolish, gutsy love. My soul was so filled up with Jesus when I left her that I’m sort of grasping for words to express myself. She was the face of Christ to me today, and I was incredibly gotten by the enormity of it. How much must God love us, friends? And how intimately does He know me…and you?
The end of the gospel today was this from the 10th chapter of Luke…”Blessed are the eyes that see what you see. For I say to you, many prophets and kings desired to see what you see, but did not see it, and to hear what you hear, but did not hear it.”
Deanne? She is grace-filled. She hears it and sees it. It’s clearly a bell she can’t “unring”. In fact, so full of the Lord is she that she oozed Him out all over me. I didn’t get to some of the items on my list today, and frankly I just don’t give a flying leap. The amount glad I am to have had too much Starbucks coffee today with Deanne Miller is impossible for me to adequately express. THANKS DEANNE for being a blessing larger than you know! Today, you gave me a first person demonstration of how we are to “Live in Grace, Walk in Love.” Well done. I am inspired and can’t wait to pay it forward to some other unsuspecting souls very soon!
P.S. If you’re reading today, Wendy Wiese, I owe you one for this introduction. You are also rock star of the highest order, and I’ll be praying for you tomorrow in a special way.