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I volunteer for a local Phoenix based charity and was asked to attend a womens’ networking event yesterday.

The organizer of this event had invited women from all colors and backgrounds together to “tell our stories, get to know one another, and see how we could share resources.”  I know, nothing unusual about that—something that women have been doing since forever, whether it was down at the river washing clothes, making quilts or participating in the local womens’ club.

What really hit home for me was the invited speaker - Ms. Carrie, a woman, who in her own description, had been through hell and come out the other side.  I am white, she is black.  Different life experiences to be sure.  What struck me and ultimately brought tears of joy, was listening to her preach.  Yes, she felt she had been touched by the power of God, and as she said, “delayed, but not denied.”  She had been through the mill, with a history of jail, drugs and prostitution—all of which she told as an example of how she came to feel being “anointed” by God’s presence in her life.  

It would be easy to dismiss her by not being able to relate to her life experiences, but the power of her words, indeed, the song  her words spoke as she praised God for being in her life was rich and full of promise.

Most people don’t impress me very much and sometimes I am quite cynical.  I am not a practicing Christian, so no one was more surprised than I to find myself in tears at the beauty of her words, a reminder to me that it’s not the religion you practice or the name you call God, but the fact that belief/faith plays a role in our lives, that there are no accidents or coincidences and that Grace comes to us all.

Thanks for the reminder, Ms. Carrie!


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