The Great Physician
This year Christmas Town has been a lot about healing. It started with a customer that wanted to bless her caregivers with a Name Your Verse as she healed from a medical procedure. She knew that they were women of faith and wanted to appropriately give a gift of thanks. But later my faith was strengthened by a remarkable customer transaction. This customer ordered a Name Your Verse for her son and daughter-in-law. She gave me the spellings, picked her design and we started our process. She returned later and I handed her the completed Name and asked her to check to be sure we had everything perfect. She read the verses with great intensity. So much intensity that I began to question what terrible mistake we had made. She looked up at me filled with emotion and said, "You didn't know this but yesterday my son and daughter-in-law lost their baby. Now that you know this, read the verses." I did and they were perfect verses for this healing time. As I tearfully thanked her I said "I hope this Name Your Verse can help with the healing process." I know it is up to the Great Physician to do the healing but we are so glad to have been part of it.
Tissues and Prayers
It started like so many other customer experiences. She stopped at the booth and stood quietly. Within seconds tears were welling up in her eyes. I quickly moved to the front side where she was standing to hear her "story". "I just left our Catholic All Souls Day service," she said. "They remembered my son who died 6 months ago." How difficult it must be to bury your child. We offered what comfort we could, tissues and prayers.
If That's Not Love
He was a proud father and loving husband. You could tell by the way he bragged on his children and the story he shared about his wife. "My wife loves the Grinch and one time I drove 8 hours to go pick up a Grinch that was being sold. Now if that's not love, I don't know what is." He was right. That is love. He left me thinking of a greater love. I smiled as I thought of how our Father loved us, His son on a cross for our sins. Now, if that's not love...
It was a highlight of the away show. A lady walking by our booth stopped and said "I don't believe you're here"! It was a customer that had ordered many times from us on line but whom we had not ever met face-to-face. Her wide eyes and excited face not only pleased us but was a moment of illumination. 1 Corinthians 13:12 talks about seeing things now as a "dim reflection" but there will be a time when we shall see things "face-to-face". What a great reminder as we enjoyed that face-to-face encounter this weekend.
He walked up to our display and stood quietly with a young lady friend. He decided on an order for himself and started to give the normal order information when he started looking puzzled. There was some discussion about what, if anything, should be under the three crosses which we always put at the top. His friend suggested his full name or his church name. "No", he said. "I want this to remind me that this was the year that I was saved." "Redeemed 2014", I suggested. He was excited and so were we. We are humbled to know that when he looks at his Name Your Verse, he will be reminded of the day he accepted the gift of salvation.
The Roller Coaster Ride - This show's story
When you do a show with Name Your Verse, the emotions can run strong. But usually there is enough time in between orders to catch your breath. This show offered a very quick change that left me, well, breathless. In the beginning of a busy day we did a Name Your Verse for a woman that wanted to comfort a friend who had just lost her son. The words of comfort and God's peace were perfect but there was still grief that was being dealt with. But it wasn't long before we were able to express words of joy in a Name Your Verse celebrating a baptism. So neat how God can be trusted to be there through all things, good and bad, even if sometimes we feel like we are on a roller coaster.
The Big Brother
She looked a little bewildered as she walked up with a lady who could have been her mother. "You could get your brother a Name Your Verse to go with the hunting knife for his birthday. That way you could tell him about Jesus in a way that would be easy for you." Talking with her brother about such personal matters was obviously difficult. We learned that it was due to the many years they had been separated and the fact that he was some 17 years older than this teenage girl. But, being recently reunited had given her the desire to share God's love with her brother. And she chose Name Your Verse to do it. Happy Birthday older brother. May you hear God's voice as you read your verses.
He's Coming Home
It was our first outdoor show, Denbigh Days, when a woman stopped at our booth and stood staring at a Name Your Verse. As we spoke to her, tears filled her eyes as she told us that the name she was staring at was her son's name. He was stationed in Iraq and her concern for his safety showed on her face. She was working at another booth for one of the local churches. At the end of the day, we were sure that taking her son's name that was on display, giving it to her and assuring her we would pray with our young adults for her son was the right thing to do.
Two weeks later I picked up the phone to hear this same tearful, yet joyful, mother say "I just got a call from my son. He is coming home. Thank you for praying".
That's My Name Your Verse
She was probably 8 years old but her intensity spoke of more maturity. She stood gazing at one name on display. I glanced over to see which pattern had caught her eye expecting her to be caught up in the colorful splash pattern or perhaps the polka dot letters. Before I could say anything, she looked up at me with excited eyes and said proudly "That's my Name Your Verse". It turns out that we had done a Name Your Verse that was given to her. We never know where our product ends up or who might be blessed by it. And we certainly never know how much we will be blessed in return!
This Means So Much to Me
I know of no greater honor for Gloria and I than to be asked to have a Name Your Verse created to be displayed in a Celebration of Life Service. We have sold larger quantities, larger sizes and shipped to much more distant locations but none that we were more honored to make. There are moments of assurance that God provides if we are in His will. When this customer told us "This means so much to me" we felt that assurance, knowing God was comforting her and we were in a small way part of it.