Peace and Joy
[Guest post by Rebekah Carrington: Maybe it’s the pregnancy hormones, but this post really tugged at my heart! I know exactly what kind of peace and joy Rebekah is talking about and it’s certainly a gift from God!]
There is heaven and earth and then there are some places where the two seem to converge blurring the lines of reality.
One such place is a senior citizens home residing at the top of a hill with a sign that reads Fairhaven. If you are not careful, you will look at it but miss seeing the glimpses of glory and beauty inside just as one can miss the forest for the trees.
For some reason, God gave me a chance to see this place. To look past the brick, sanitary smell, old carpet, and fading colors on the walls and see the divine occurrences here.
For the enchantment of this home was not in its structure but in the hearts of its residents.
On Tuesday evening, six of us entered the room wearing our favorite dresses and hearts full of anticipation and giddiness. As we stepped foot into the grand room in Fairhaven, it seemed we had stepped back in time as streams of jazz music filled the room, staff members handed out punch and cookies, and residents were dressed in their finest.
We wandered around the room greeting the men and women who were attending this senior prom. I had the privilege of talking with some incredible gentleman who talked about the olden days and shared war stories that painted scenes of air force raids, dancing as the navy ship ported for the evening, and reuniting with their loved ones. There were two men who danced every time the orchestra began to play and they were seldom seen dancing with the same girl.
Mr. Alvin twirled me around the dance floor and told me about his former days of dancing with his wife. His eyes were soft and his reminiscent tone pulled at my heartstrings. His friend also was quite the dancer and even despite his back surgery, he was spinning me and once the song ended, immediately went in search of the next available young woman to dance with.
After the song ended, I spotted a woman sitting wearing bright orange and a beautiful necklace. As I knelt beside her chair, she introduced herself as Ollie and from that moment on I hung to every word. She was an artist, made pottery, and told me of her travels to Germany, Hawaii, Austria, and France.
Ollie informed me she almost did not come to Prom that night but in the last minute, she said she did not “get beautified for nothin’.”
A few moments later, a girl with a microphone and sashes in hand got up and announced the Prom Queen and King. I looked at Mrs. Ollie and she was clapping. I bent down and said “Mrs. Ollie did you hear?” She told me she didn’t have her hearing aids in and could not hear the names but she was happy.
I laughed as I looked at her innocent and genuine smile and said “Mrs. Ollie, they called you! You won Prom Queen!”
You would have thought she won Miss America with the shock and wide smile that spread across her face. Two girls came and put a sash on her and gave her red roses. She looked at me and motioned for me to bend to hear her. As I did she whispered, “My son will be so proud”.
Tears began to form in my eyes as I stood amazed that something so simple and seemingly small brought so much joy and sense of accomplishment. As a dental student there came and talked to us, he grabbed Mrs. Ollie’s hand and asked if he could be honored to dance with her. As I watched her smile as she swayed I could picture her dancing in heaven in the presence of the Lord she loved. She looked like an angel on that dance floor.
I learned much from these wise men and women. Each with their own stories, adventures, and personalities. I could feel the presence of God in that place and even those who were seriously sick or confined to a wheelchair had so much peace and joy that could only come from Him.
Rebekah Carrington is a recent college grad and wife who now resides in Tennessee. She loves spontaneous adventures and traveling around the country, being outdoors, and drinking copious amounts of coffee. She loves walking out this journey the Lord has for her surrounded by a beautiful community of people.
This guest post is part of the first-ever Devotional Diva Christmas guest post series entitled, “The Gifts God Has Given You.” Look for more posts with this theme now until December 23rd!