Kendall was intent on spending her $2. And she knows how to haggle at the straw market. All my girls do now after living here 12 months. My brother Neal was looking for some souvenirs to take back to Atlanta and so we hit the local Straw Market last Friday.
Souvenirs bought and bagged, we wanted to leave. But Kendall still hadn't found her item. She was hoping for a bracelet. She was eyeing a few in one of the booths and the vendor began with the usual haggle-talk, "What you lookin' for pretty girl? You like those? Which one you like? " Kendall blushed and looked back at me. "How much for these?" she asked. "Will you take $2?" The vendor frowned, "No, those $5." Kendall said, "ok." Then the vendor said, "How much you got?" Kendall said again, "$2." "OK...pretty girl. You know what...take it. I give it to you." I told Kendall to give the lady her $2, as we once had a vendor say she was "giving" us necklaces but then wanted "donations...for the children." I wanted this transaction to be fair and square. "No" said the vendor. "Let me tell you something, mom. It's not about the money. It's about givin' and receivin'....it's about puttin' the children first." I butted in..."I understand. We're a pastor's family. We know Jesus." She stopped, wide-eyed. "You a what?" "A pastor's family," I replied. "You see 'dere...I didn't know who I was dealin' wit. Now you gonna pray for me and I'm gonna get a blessin' from God" she said.
I asked her for her name, and she said "Joy...it's Joy....and I need healin'...physical, spiritual, and mental." I said, "I'd like to pray for you right now Joy." And I did. My big brother, my girls, Joy and I all held hands, laid on hands, and prayed right there in the straw market. Tears filled my eyes. Tears filled Joy's eyes. Jesus was there in the midst of us.
I don't know if Joy is a Christian. If she is, I think she probably attends a church that is of the "name it, claim it" variety. Christian karma wrapped in a type of gospel. If you do good, good will come back to you. But that's not what Jesus said. It's only by his goodness that we can do anything eternally good. And so I am thankful our paths crossed with Joy. It was a moment God ordained.