A couple of weekends ago, Susan and I made a day trip to Foley, Alabama to celebrate another March birthday. John Turner turned 16! It was a fun celebration with Bar-B-Q, cake, and reminiscing.
I was privileged to officiate John’s mom Terri’s wedding with Daniel LaCoste almost four years ago in this town close to the coast, so we knew most of the people at the surprise party. Susan deserves the credit for loving Terri, John, all the extended family, and so many others we’ve met over the past 16 years. When Susu becomes your friend, it is for a lifetime.
We were in the next room signing a large poster for John when I overheard Terri’s conversation with a guy in the kitchen: “They drove down from Atlanta this morning.” The friend said, “Wow, that’s a long drive for a birthday party.” Terri said, “You know they took John into their home when he was three days old. They took care of him for seven months, until I got out of jail. Then I also lived with them for two more years.” The friend replied, “Terri, this is what I love: you overcame your past. Look at you now!” She replied, “But I’ve messed up a lot more… and still do…”
God is always working. It is important to look back and remember the highs and lows, the successes and failures, and the power of the Father’s love — exhibited by Himself and His people. He is able to enter any hopeless situation; He can redeem any lost soul; nothing is impossible for Him. And He invites us to be a part of the story… with our own weaknesses and imperfections. “Visit her; take care of a baby; give of yourself and your emotions; forgive; pray; invite your community of believers to join in — you will need them; notice how I work through My people; marvel at the power of love; learn how ‘I never stop working.’”
“So, because Jesus was doing these things on the Sabbath, the Jewish leaders began to persecute Him. In His defense Jesus said to them, ‘My Father is always at His work to this very day, and I, too, am working.’” John 5:16-17