This beautiful crepe myrtle tree stands greeting everyone at the end of my driveway. It is always pretty in the summer, but to my knowledge has never bloomed in two colors as long as I have lived here.
Throughout the summer, God made His awesome Presence known in so many unique and wonderful ways! There was that generous sponsor who--choosing to remain anonymous--helped to make "Music By Laurel Jean" part of the scheduled entertainment for the June meeting of the Ashley River Baptist Church "Keenagers". This is no ordinary senior group. Members are blessed with a multitude of opportunities to serve their community, preparing meals, helping to build homes and so much more! It was truly an honor to meet and present for this forever-young group of brothers and sisters in Christ!
Here in Charleston, my colleagues and I have been kept busy talking with sighted students attending camps throughout the greater Charleston area. My BFF Audrey and I were invited back to the Charleston Animal Society to speak to children age 7 thru 15 attending the Society's Summer BARK Camp.
It is always a joy to talk with sighted kids about blindness, and to answer their terrific questions. Especially fun is our time of meeting and greeting, when day campers have the opportunity to visit with a guide dog out of harness.
In July, I was also invited by Rev. Christian King, to spend time with "her kids" from age 4 to 14, during her summer program at the Pink House Learning Center, an outreach to under-served children in the community. Young people from Rev. King's group tell me that they still have the Braille name cards that I made for them during my time there.
Thanks to Rev. King and her husband, Kelvin, who each took a turn at the camera so that the other could be in our group picture.
A most impactful time of ministry for me took place this summer in a local hospital. C.A., a dear personal friend and a friend of the blindness community, had been battling pancreatic cancer for the past 5 years. When her doctor told her that nothing more could be done for her, she called to ask that Audrey and I officiate at her funeral. We agreed and wrote down all of her instructions. We were gathered with members of her family at her hospital bedside when she passed away. We had said a prayer, and I was asked to sing something. Knowing how much she loved animals, I began to sing "Peace In The Valley." As I sang "...and I'll be changed from this creature I am," our friend breathed her last on this earth and passed peacefully into Glory. As long as I live and probably longer, I will count this among my most profound and humbling experiences.
I am reminded of a verse from St. Paul's letter to the Philippians: "Finally, brothers, whatever things are true, whatever things are honorable, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report; if there is any virtue, and if there is any praise, think about these things." (Philippians 4:8, WEB)
Stay tuned for more posts like this one. Until next time, God bless you and keep His Song in your heart!
© 2019 by Laurel Jean Walden
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