There's a lady I know named Carole (yes, with an "e"). I've known her for quite some time and anyone who knows her has a story or two...or three...

It seems that every time I see her she has something to speak into my life and it's always a blessing. She's not very reserved in fact she's quite comfortable just walking over, touching someone on the shoulder, and offering a prayer for them and sometimes even a word from God. Now, I'm usually skeptical, I admit, of this sort of thing. I get nervous when people claim that they are speaking words the Lord but somehow when I see Carole something inside me seems to hope for it from her. I've never really shared anything she's said to me besides maybe her prayers. But the other day was different. She came into my Mom's store, where I had my nose planted in a Cornelius Plantinga book and, as she often does, she stood over me, placed her hand on my shoulder with a smile and eyes closed she slowed her breathing. Her smiling lips began to quiver and she said something to me I will never forget, "God has so much joy for you, He is so pleased with you." As she continued speaking tears came from her eyes, her smile - still quivering - became larger and she repeated those words to me, "God has so much joy for you... If I wasn't so old I'd be dancing... I could stay here forever."

I quietly listened, while all I could think about is how guilty I was. Somehow I must have tricked Carole because, from where I was sitting, I was not worth the joy or the dancing. My life is a constant struggle of correcting mistakes only to make more mistakes along the way which again must be corrected and the cycle continues... So why...? How...? With puzzled expression I watched and listened to this dear woman go on telling my mom how pleased God is with me. In a way, that puzzled expression hasn't left my face (thus, I am even blogging my confusion). As Carole left I could find no other words than "thank you."

The reason I'm posting this is because I'm not sure what to do with it either theologically or otherwise. I'm processing the experience. Carole has always given me words of encouragement but never like this. It was humbling. Perhaps there is time and place for me to simply take her words, stop defining myself by my shortcomings and embrace the God who dances over me.