Yesterday my wife Merideth and I drove to Houston TX, and then spent the entire day at the U.S. Passport Office to get her a new passport issued before she flew to Guatemala for a mission trip this morning.
One of the many things that I love about my wife Merideth is how she always tries to find the silver lining in the midst of the worst clouds.
Throughout the morning, I watched her cheerily engage the weary people standing in line with us as we waited to gain entry into the Passport office. Within moments she had everyone's story as to how they ended up there in the first place.
One lady was traveling to the Cayman Islands and didn't know she needed a passport to go there. The young man in front of us discovered that his passport had been lost the day before he and his family were heading the Bahamas on vacation.
Merideth also found out how long the security guard had been working at the Federal Building (7 years), and that he was a retired deputy sheriff from Atlanta, who had served for years in the military.
When we went for lunch, she asked the very pregnant seating hostess about her due date, and then told her how beautiful she looked. The young woman beamed and chatted about her expected little girl, and what she was going to name her.
Everywhere Merideth went yesterday, she did her very best to be a loving ambassador of the kingdom of God--to spread peace, joy, and hope.
In my reading this morning, I came across this great quote from author Eric Elnes:
If heaven may be found here and now, then heaven cannot be merely found in the absence of struggle as most of us assume, but in the very heart of struggles.
As I watched my wife move through her very long, very challenging day, I saw her time and time again exemplify those words. She truly lived out Jesus' words to his followers that "the kingdom of God is within you."
May you find ways today to bring a bit of heaven to earth--even in the middle of your struggles. May you discover moments when you can show God's peaceable kingdom to those who are in need.
And may the grace and peace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you now and always. Amen.