Emily and Jake

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Back in May I traveled to Ohio for the nuptials of this adorable couple. "Emmy" was 2 and I was 15 when they moved in next door to our family in Seattle. It has been a total privilege to watch this precious girl grow into a lovely young woman who loves God with all her heart and soul. She is beautiful inside and out. Although I don't know her new hubby very well, I know enough about him to be convinced that these two are perfectly matched.

Emily has been on staff with "h2o"--a college ministry on the campus of Kent State University. Following their wedding, Jake joined forces with her to reach, not only college students, but their "retirement community" as well. I just received their monthly newsletter and it was heartwarming. I just had to share it with you all. I am humbled and awed by how God is using these two willing servants to love people with his unconditional love. And what a difference they are making. Wow. I'm so proud of her I could just pop.

Here's an excerpt from her email:

As most of you know, Jake and I live in a retirement community situated across the street from Kent State. We absolutely love living here. We love talking with people who have experienced so much in life. Take Ed for instance: Ed is in his mid 80s, having just celebrated his 62nd wedding anniversary with the "girl of his dreams", Mim. Every time we talk with him, he has so many neat things to say about life and what he has learned. I adore him, and I'm always grateful for the times we are able to talk outside in our parking lot.

Then there's Ethel. As we made our way to our car a couple days ago, Ethel waved to us. She waved and beckoned for us to come to her. She looked at me and said, "Hi, I have met your husband, but haven't met you. I'm Ethel." I gave her my name and she said, "I just have to tell you, I really love your porch; you have such beautiful flowers, and it's nice to see some color up there. It really is beautiful." I can't explain it, but there was a longing for something in her voice and I also felt like perhaps she's touched by Jake and I.

As soon as we parted ways, I felt God speak to my heart. 2 Corinthians 2:14-15 came to mind. It says, "But thanks be to God, who always leads us in triumphal procession in Christ and spreads everywhere the fragrance of the knowlege of him. For we are to God the aroma of Christ among those who are being saved and those who are perishing." I really felt like God was reminding me of the life, beauty and love He produces through us for others to see. Our love for Christ and how we love one another, can evoke many emotions and feelings in others. I'm not sure if this is what happened to Ethel, but our interaction was a sweet reminder of how much Christ loves His creation, and wants to reach us. As we live among those in our retirement community--those who understand their mortality--and as we work on a college campus with many young people who believe themselves to be invincible, we are reminded of Christ's heart for all to know Him!

Keep loving them, you two. You are making a difference!