By Patti Jo Bach
Once when I was on the kitchen team, we planned a lunch with the theme “daughters of God.” I came up with the idea of giving lollipops as my palanca, so I bought 125 Chupa Chups and my reunion sisters helped me put a tag on each one, tied with curled colorful ribbons. Each tag read “Daddy’s little girl” on one side a nd “love from your Abba, Romans 8:15” on the other. We prayed that the lollipops and scripture would touch their hearts in some simple way.
During that lunch, all 42 candidates and 65 team members received these on their plates along with other palanca. I didn’t hear any response to my offering and wondered if I had really heard from the Spirit, or if I had dreamed up a silly idea that had taken a good bit of time and some dollars. Even if it wasn’t effective, I reasoned, my reunion sisters and I had enjoyed tremendous fun and fellowship when we sat together to tie the ribbons, laughing and sharing little girl memories.
When the time for the closing service came, I had put it out of my mind. Then a woman came up to the microphone to take her turn to answer the two questions: What have you gained from these three days? and What does Christ mean to you now?
“I didn’t think there was much that this retreat could do for me,” she said. “But God gave me this.” She held up the lollipop she had in her pocket. Then after a long pause and choking back tears, she continued. “I let go of the anger, sadness and rejection I have carried all these years since my dad killed himself when I was little.”
She clutched the lollipop to her chest and said “I learned that I had a heavenly Father all along. I am now certain that . . . (pause and more tears). . . my Abba Daddy will never leave me or forsake me.”
Needless to say, I burst into tears myself and thanked God for the prodding of His Spirit on this precious woman’s behalf and for using me in this small act of obedience.