For the past couple of Wednesdays, a sweet, timid, middle-aged woman has been showing up at church. She comes in with a large backpack and about four or five more bags filled with who knows what. She tucks them all around her on the floor. She doesn't want any help bringing them in from her car or through the door. If someone touches her or them, she gets a bit frantic. From what she says and does, I realize that she is coping with mental illness.
As I watched her, I realized that she wasn't the only one who had brought extra baggage to church that night. Oh, some of us hid it better than she did, but we still came in juggling bags and then tucked them nice and tight around us. They do help insulate us. And help build a protective wall.
How do I know there were others with baggage? Well, some have let me peek into some of their bags. So I know some of what they're carrying. But, basically I know because I brought in all kinds of baggage with me that night. Some helped insulate me. Some just made it hard to juggle the rest.
Jesus asks us to lay all of our stuff at His feet. (1 Peter 5:7) If we seem to get a bit frantic at that thought, He doesn't grab or snatch the stuff out of our hands. Can you imagine the searing pain of that? No, instead He comes along side of us, puts His loving arms around us, asks us to open just one bag, and then lovingly helps us unpack.
First and foremost, I am a follower of my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. That one fact colors and influences everything else I do, say, or am.
I delight in my family. I have been married to a pastor for forty years, thus the title "Lady" -- as our church currently calls its pastors' wives. (I like the title -- it reminds me to act like one!) I gave birth to three children, who are now married and *giving us* an abundance of grandchildren - nineteen, so far! We live a wonderful life on the Central Coast of California.