By Susan Shanklin
For all of you that have scanned the front and inside then flipped to the back here, my stuff isn’t as interesting or note worthy as Tom’s, but rather mine is the life and notes of the keeper of the stuff.
“No one can agree with what you say! All must share alike: whoever stays behind with the supplies [stuff, kjv] gets the same share as the one who goes into battle.” 1 Samuel 30:24, Good News.
Judi Holter reminded me of this. To paraphrase even more, “Girl, you stayed home with the sheep, the dog, the cat, the house, the taking care of the Believers School of Ministry, the ministry daily accounts, the grandkids, Tuesday’s Coffee, Donuts and Prayer, snow shoveling, and non-stop prayer for Tom, partners, friends and enemies. You, too, get your cut of the share of the salvations, souls, healings and preaching of the Word wayyyyyyyyy over there in Benin, West Africa!”
We think sometimes the people that “stay” home don’t count as much or get a slice of the reward pie, but WE do! We count tooooooooo!
Just think, we are here and Tom is there in 103°F heat, eating greasy carp and no milk!
Yesterday, I was in a funk. So after Tuesday’s Coffee, Donuts and Prayer Outreach, I hit my first vintage thrift store, and headed to Culver’s, ordered a Deluxe Snack Pack, and upgraded with a short chocolate shake! Who’s suffering now?
I need my energy, you see, to look after the “stuff.” Ha Ha.
Seriously, Tom is having the time of his life. I hear it in his voice. I see the hungry hearts of the women, children, and men. I see the hands raised and crowds of people. He tells of salvations and healings.
I’m here. I’m here pressing in for safety for Tom. I’m pressing in for stamina to tolerate the brutal, oppressive heat. I’m praying for MILK!
I command the devil to back off. I speak to the ground to break up to receive the seed of God.
I tell the sheep to suck it up. I’m not Tom and they are stuck with me. I will come to the barn SOMETIME in the morning. Hopefully before noon. Too baaaaaaaaaaaaaad.
Do I get lonely? Well kind of. A little maybe. I’m cool. I miss Tom mainly. I don’t like to venture too far from home, usually. I don’t like to drive at night. I don’t like to have car trouble. I don’t like to clean out ashes from the wood stove or scrape off thick layers of ice from my car.
I do like to talk and see Tom every day on the smartphone. We usually can hear each other but we see each other in patches between internet blackouts. Blackouts are better in the mornings for me with my over the PJs ratty sweaters and uncombed, untamed hairdo. He thinks I’m beautiful anyway … so, that is good.
I notice the bags under his eyes or the pinkness of his flesh. I notice what shirt he has on. I ask if he is drinking water or wearing his hat.
I ask, “What did you have for supper?”
He replies, “Fish again.”
It seems to be either chicken that Tom thinks is butchered after he orders it, or fish.
He told me the first night of his eating fish at a restaurant that was so dark he had to use his tongue to feel the bones, which were many, in order to spit them out. Now, aren’t you glad you GOT TO guard the “stuff?”
Tom sends me pictures of evangelists, practicing sharing their faith. He has pictures of children grabbing for flyers promoting the festival. He shows me the marketplace and little plastic bags filled with raw milk being sold and getting warmer and warmer in the afternoon heat.
Isn’t it great that we chose to stay with the “stuff”? Isn’t it great to lift up holy hands welcoming lost souls finding Jesus and their names being written in the Lamb’s book of LIFE.
Jesus is so happy you chose to stay and pray. One man needs a whole lot of help getting on that plane, joining himself to French-speaking men and women, and putting his hand to the plow in a foreign field.
If your neighbor asks you tomorrow what you did yesterday, you tell them you preached the gospel and scores of people got saved. You laid hands on the sick, and they recovered. You passed out PA systems and ate greasy fish.
I’ve got the stuff!