The sound of the front door opening and voices in the hallway heralded visitors. The voices were feminine and cheery and Paul's voice was welcoming as they drew closer to the room at the back of the house, where I was.
To my surprise, there stood Jane and Barb, two friends from our cell group--but this was Tuesday, not Thursday and it looked as though they were on a mission.
We chatted briefly and then Jane said, "We came with a purpose."
"I thought so!" I said, greatly curious about what it might be. Jane was carrying a small zippered portfolio from which she was pulling something out.
"I brought you a gift," she announced; her whole being radiating joy in giving.
"It is one of a kind," and she handed me a letter sized laminated document and a smaller one the size of a recipe card.
I looked at the emblems that were duplicated on the cards and Jane asked me what I thought.
"I like the message," I said, feeling something, I didn't know what, as I looked at them.
"It's your coat of arms," she said, probably giving up on me ever catching on.
My coat of arms--the one I had described in my blog post of last Thursday,Taking Hills ; my coat of arms!
Jane's eyes danced with delight. I gasped with the realization that she had created this for me with clip art on her computer. I remembered last Thursday's cell group conversation when I had enthusiastically shared that the mental imagery of four quadrants had helped me to focus and described what they were. Jane had been listening attentively at the time, I thought. Now her loving gift had given me a visual image to keep the focus ever before me. It was absolutely perfect. I wrapped her in a grateful hug.
As I looked at the quadrants after she left, my eyes fell on the lower right hand corner, which declared, "Sabbath." Jane said it represented the care of the body that I had spoken and written about: getting sufficient rest, eating healthily and exercise. I found myself glancing at the evening sky outside. Yes, there was time for a walk before it got dark...my coat of arms was doing its work.
2 Corinthians 9:7 (Amplified Bible)
7Let each one [give] as he has made up his own mind and purposed in his heart, not reluctantly or sorrowfully or under compulsion, for God loves (He takes pleasure in, prizes above other things, and is unwilling to abandon or to do without) a cheerful (joyous, "prompt to do it") giver [whose heart is in his giving].