An Open Letter to Rita
Rita, I hope this letter finds you well. It has been a little over 24 years since I have seen you last. I was young in so many ways. Young in years. Young in character. And young in the faith. You took a chance on a broken, baby Christian and hired me to work in your Christian daycare. I look back at that time and think I should have been paying you.
You taught me much about marriage, parenting, faith, and life. And it was almost exclusively by example.
You were one of the most observant people I knew. Your social awareness was admirable. I remember the notes you would leave in our employee boxes. You took notice of the times we made an extra effort in our work and you thanked us for it.
You often sat near the employee log-out book to thank us for coming to work. Who thanks their employees for coming to work? In the last 24 years since I left? No one.
You were a person filled with grace. It was a perfume that lingered when you left the room and it inspired others to rise to the challenge. You found a way to bridge the sacred and the secular and modeled the incarnation in profound ways.
In the years since I left your employment, I have thought of you often. You were a shepherd to children and broken people and your tenderness abounded.
Your life and your witness gave me hope. It gave me hope that even a broken, lost soul like me could find my way. And I did. Most importantly, I found The Way. Christ before me. Christ behind me. Christ beside me. Christ within me.
Twenty-four years ago, all those souls I was praying for? Almost all of them have found Christ, too.
I am confident it was God’s providence that caused our paths to cross. Today, that broken, floundering, baby Christian has grown to lead many to faith in Christ. My husband and my children know the Lord. I planted a church. And I teach others about marriage, parenting, faith, and life.
You poured into my life and you need to know that your mustard seed of faith has grown into a large tree where even the birds can make their home. May Grace Christian Learning Center continue to produce a harvest 100X its size. May God’s blessings rain down on your family. And may you have confidence you have been the hands and feet of Christ.
One no longer broken
Jesus told them another parable: The kingdom of heaven is like a mustard seed, which a man took and planted in his field. Though it is the smallest of all seeds, yet, when it grows, it is the largest of garden plants and becomes a tree, so that the birds come and perch in its branches. – Matthew 13:31-32
A beautiful tribute to someone living out what it means to be a follower of Christ. Your Rita is an example to all of us.