If that's you... boy, I'm sorry if I didn't communicate how much we appreciate that. It's always hard to cover everything in one post, but you folks have been more than just prayer partners and cheerleaders for us. In some pretty amazing ways, you've been the Church.
The reason we know this is because you still call, email, and hang out with us on our good days and our worst days. You've listened to us weep and have heard the hope in our voice when we started to dream about the way the Kingdom of God could be and should be. When you wanted to slap me around a bit you instead offered a hand up... then you slapped me around in love (because I needed it after all). Many of you sent us financial gifts during times when we wondered how we'd ever get by... and then there you were, helping us meet our practical needs.
A few weeks ago my family stayed overnight at a hotel near a church I was speaking at. They had a pool, and so we went swimming in it and helped the boys navigate their way around its shallow and deep ends. My oldest son had those little floaties that you put on the arms of kids when they're learning to paddle and tread water, so I decided to try a little experiment.
I grabbed one of the floaties and placed it between my knees as I waded over to the deep end. Suddenly I wasn't having to put in a tiring effort to stay afloat in way that you normally do but instead had the benefit of this little tiny pocket of air to give me a boost. Something so small made such a huge difference in what it meant to tread water.
My wife and I have begun to refer to little blessings in life as "little floaties," thankful for the breath of fresh air that God provided through events, people, and internally through the Holy Spirit.
Perhaps you're one of them. In fact, if you're reading this blog I can almost guarantee it. So many of you come by pretty regularly, whether or not you take the time to comment. I'm not a numbers guy so I won't give away my daily hits, but I will tell you this... I'm thankful for the one you represent in the mix of many.
So there it is - an addendum to all of you who are my "little floaties." Thank you for being who you are and the part you play in the Story of the One who breathes life into an otherwise dirty existence.
"The LORD God formed the man from the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living being. " (Genesis 2:7)
"When we suffer for Jesus, it works out for your healing and salvation. If we are treated well, given a helping hand and encouraging word, that also works to your benefit, spurring you on, face forward, unflinching. Your hard times are also our hard times. When we see that you're just as willing to endure the hard times as to enjoy the good times, we know you're going to make it, no doubt about it." (2 Corinthians 1:6, MSG)