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14 “Now fear the Lord and serve him with all faithfulness. Throw away the gods your ancestors worshiped beyond the Euphrates River and in Egypt, and serve the Lord. 15 But if serving the Lord seems undesirable to you, then choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your ancestors served beyond the Euphrates, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you are living. But as for me and my household, we will serve the Lord.”

16 Then the people answered, “Far be it from us to forsake the Lord to serve other gods! 17 It was the Lord our God himself who brought us and our parents up out of Egypt, from that land of slavery, and performed those great signs before our eyes. He protected us on our entire journey and among all the nations through which we traveled. 18 And the Lord drove out before us all the nations, including the Amorites, who lived in the land. We too will serve the Lord, because he is our God.” – Joshua 24:14-18

The Lord is close to the brokenhearted; he saves those whose spirits are crushed.

Just last night, Ari F. and I did a site visit for a First Nesters candidate.  First Nesters is a mission here at Bayshore that provides furnishings and partners with young adults to create their first home.

Early in the evening, we met with a young single mother of a 2-year-old daughter and a 16-day old son.  M, whom I am calling this young mom, was a very sweet, caring and attentive mother.  We struggled a bit communicating with each another because of a language barrier.  We did learn that she is finishing up her GED and looking for a job once her son is old enough for daycare.    Her two children are registered in Healthy Start.  In addition, Catholic Charities and Eckerd Connects are both helping her financially and emotionally.  However, while her apartment was mostly empty, and her children were restless and busy, she still had the presence and positive attitude first, needed to be a mother to her children and second, to discuss politely with us her needs.  What I immediately noticed was her grateful heart.  Christine D. Pohl writes in her book, Living Into Community: Cultivating Practices That Sustain Us, “When our lives are shaped by gratitude, we’re more likely to notice the goodness and beauty in everyday things.”  Even though M is barely “making it,” she continues to maintain a healthy attitude and is taking small steps to improving her life.

Through meeting M, I experienced seeing what Joshua tells us in verse 18… The Lord is close to those in need.  The Lord looks after those who the world easily discards.  Sometimes God uses the least expected people to speak to us.  I certainly experienced that with M and look forward to going back to her home and providing her with much needed essentials to turn her house into a home for her young family.