Today is Halloween.
So I've never been much of a fan of this so called "holiday".
Well, maybe when I was growing up, I liked it because going to a Catholic school, we always got the next day off for All Saints Day. So we could go out trick or treating and come home and not worry about having to get up for school. I vividly remember one year when I had my good friend Angela spend the night. We stayed up late and ate ALL of our candy that night. Funny, I don't remember getting sick, but the thought of it now, causes me to shudder.
I probably had an aversion to Halloween because I think I'm missing out on that "creative" gene that so many have. And when you have kids, they want you to be creative. Its a good thing I had a husband with a bit more of creative bent than me. Todd as Dracula was one of the best costumes ever!! No one, and I mean , no one knew it was him.
So now that I live in a place where there are hardly any neighbors around, I don't have the fun of watching kids come to the door trick or treating. THAT was my favorite part of Halloween: watching the kids and their costumes and seeing little ones try and say "trick or treat".
This year is the first year that I will not get to be with Kellen and Jax on Halloween. That makes me sad, but Jax had me close my eyes two weeks ago, while his Mom helped him put on his spider man costume so that I could see him and be surprised. I will miss them tonight.
But today I got the most wonderful treat.
I got to spend almost two hours with Bob and Claudia Mitchell.
Bob Mitchell was in the very first Young Life club. He has been around since the beginning.
He went on staff when he graduated from college and has been everything from an area director to being the third president of Young Life.
I was first privileged to meet Bob and Claudia in the fall of 1977 after he had become President.
It was at Woodleaf for our Bay Area regional meeting.
What's amazing to me is that I now live at Woodleaf. And Mitch is the one who found the property for Young Life to buy 48 years ago.
Mitch is one of the funniest people you will ever meet . And his gift of story telling is unmatchable.
But what has drawn me to this dear couple is their love for Jesus Christ.
So today, instead of having to sit thru a (boring for me) business meeting, I got to spend time with them all by myself. This is not the first time this has happend, and hopefully will not be the last, but oh how wonderful it was.
We shared stories of our family and our own physical battles.
The best part of our time was talking about Jesus and what He has done in our lives, what He means to us, and how that no matter how old we are, He can still use us.
I think Mitch just turned 84 in July, and although he can't see well-or hardly at all, and his short term memory is almost gone (both due to strokes he has had) and Claudia , who will turn 80 next February and has had 2 knee surgeries and a spinal fusion this past year, their passion and love for Jesus continues to grow and grow.
We laughed and we cried together as we shared life.
We talked about how getting old isn't fun, and yet that God keeps us alive to continue to allow us to know more of Him and then gives us the privilege of sharing that with others.
We marveled at how little we really know of Jesus and can't wait for eternity to know HIM fully.
We talked about being grateful and having joy in the midst of pain and suffering.
We just talked about Jesus and the richness of knowing Him.
The three of us agreed that we need to do everything we can to encourage those younger than us to spend time in God's Word. That somehow, the importance of the Bible is not what it used to be. That we need to keep telling the younger than us generations, how wonderful and amazing and NEW, God's Word is every single day.
Mitch has always been one of the godliest men I have ever met.
And I have always wanted to emulate Claudia for how well she serves and loves Jesus and her husband.
What an enormous privilege the LORD has given me to sit under their wisdom and their passion for Jesus the past 36 years. How they have spurred me on to be obedient to Jesus; to live for Him.
What a gift it was to be with them today. To share how real God is to us. To know we would be nothing without Him. To share joys and pain and know how to pray for each other. And for me, feeling somewhat discouraged that I am not as useful to the LORD in my 60's, being reprimanded by these two, that God will use us until He calls us home, was exactly what God wanted to tell me today.
So it might be Halloween to you, but I need no tricks tonight. I was given the best treat ever!!
Thank you Mitch and Claudia for loving Jesus, for loving so many of us, for serving until He calls you home.