A Subtle Spark Can Change Everything

Day after day, morning or night, I pick up my Bible and my Oswald Chambers devotional and spend as much time as I can sinking my mind into God’s Word. As I am struck by various things that God shows me through the words written so long ago, I write down my conversation with Him as quickly as I can in my journal. We never know which every day, normal, habitual, things will have the biggest impact on people. To us, they’re ordinary, natural things that are just what we do so we can talk to our Father. But… our every day actions are the things that are the perfect sparks that to start a roaring fire.

One morning, while the girls were at school and day care, I was sitting on my bed in my room having my quiet time. Normal. Renaud came blowing in from working at the Inn/restaurant to get something and popped in my room to say hello before running back out. He asked how I was and I said I was fine. Then he glanced down at the 3 different books lying on my bed. He walked over to my dad’s brown and black Bible lying open and asked what it was. Before I could answer, he was picking it up to study it. “Oh!” He said, looking at me with a slight grin on his face and nodding his head. “Very good.” Then he gasped and came around to the other side of my bed. “Do you know Conques?” He asked. “Conques??” I replied, very confused if this was some strange French word I had never heard of before. “Oui. Conques. It’s a city very close to here.” “No.” I said. “Here.” He pointed to my computer and I gathered that he wanted me to look it up. So I asked him how you spelled this strange word and he told me. (By the way, incase you want to know it’s pronounced Conk. 😉 ) As pictures of the city appeared, I was in awe. It was incredible. Southern French cities never cease to amaze me at just how beautiful they can get. The main attraction of this city is it’s insanely ancient church that lies in the center. It was finished being built in the 12th century and has a ton of crazy history. (If you want to know a little more, this is a good site: https://www.bluffton.edu/~sullivanm/france/conques/stefoy/indexintro.html ) The front doors of the church hold a beautiful carving above them of the Last Judgement. I gathered that this city is a very famous “religious city” if you will, of France. He asked me if I was interested in going and I eagerly said yes. We set a date for Saturday of that week.

The Last Judgment  Dipiction

The Last Judgment Dipiction

The Last Judgement dipiction.

Front Doors

As Saturday came, the weather was slightly cold and very misty, but I was too eager to go to consider waiting. We got in the old 1984 Renault and were off. 40 minutes of flooring the gas to make it up and down mountains, around sharp curves, and stopping to experience the incredible view of the valleys, we made it to Conques: a beautifully architectured city that’s tucked away in it’s own gorge. I couldn’t believe my eyes. I literally felt like I was walking in a dream, none of it completely real because it was so perfect looking. Even in the rain, it was exquisite…

As we walked to where the church was, Renaud began to try to describe (in little, broken English) how he wasn’t ever christened as a child because his parents weren’t in a church, but also because they couldn’t afford to pay for the service. (I never knew you had to pay to be christened in a Catholic church…) He opened up and told me that he wished there were more churches around that he could attend that weren’t as traditional. I had no idea how to respond to this, but began praying that God would really begin to work in his life and use me to aid Him. When entering the church, to the left of the door was a bowl of water to cleanse yourself before you entered. I don’t believe in needing to be cleansed to enter God’s temple, so I didn’t participate in doing it. Renaud asked me why and I explained the differences between very traditional churches here, and the one that I attend back home. The more I explained, the more interested he became. Sparks were beginning to strike…

A few days ago, while watching the girls, Renaud came home again just for a minute and then was back out. I was sitting at the kitchen table having my quiet time while the girls were playing, and as he breezed in, noticed I was reading my Bible again. “You read everyday?” He asked me. “Yes.” I said, smiling. “I read and write, and then I pray.” He nodded in understanding. “If you want, you can go to church at 5 on Sunday.” He said, referring to the 5 o’clock mass that happens in the village. I told him that I did want to go and experience it soon.

Little by little, my everyday actions are taking on an effect in this family. Lorraine has seen that I read every day as well. Renaud continues to be curious. A friend of mine in Richmond Skyped me in to one of my church’s services. I showed Lorraine and the girls. Lorraine was in awe at how contemporary it was. “It’s like a rock concert!” She said. I explained that we have worship at the beginning and then speaking. The more she watched, she expressed that she wished there was a church like that near here. When Renaud came home, she explained to him what she had seen on my Skype. She went on and on, so excited at how different and non-traditional it was. Both of them are so curious and open to the idea of religion… of something more… My heart breaks that they don’t have better churches here, but every day, I pray that God will open up a way for them to accept Him and thrive in their understanding of who He is.

So… my fellow believers that are reading this: I need your help. I need you to pray with me. Especially for Renaud. He wants to experience more. He has told me that he doesn’t have a religion but would like one. I don’t want him to just find one… I want him to experience the incredible relationship we can have with God…a personal, intimate, one-on-one, deep, thriving relationship. I want him to live it out. I don’t know what these next 4 months hold… but I know God is going to do something huge. And I can’t wait. 🙂

A few pictures from Conques…

IMG_20150315_085822 IMG_20150315_090308 IMG_20150315_091059 IMG_20150315_091442 IMG_20150315_091627 IMG_20150315_092416

For your convenience, a telephone in it's own alcove for your privacy...

For your convenience, a telephone in it’s own alcove for your privacy…

IMG_20150315_092017

Building across from the church... So perfect. Beauty and the Beast, anyone??

Building across from the church… So perfect. Beauty and the Beast, anyone??

IMG_20150315_091652IMG_20150315_091845

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