Sister Julian

In 2016, Lori and I took a team over to Kenya. We stayed in an old Catholic Convent run by nuns.

One of the nuns we met is Sister Julian. She was absolutely radiant, every single day. She took a shine to us, and we took a shine to her. Shine is the operative word for Sister Julian. That girl is a ray of sunshine!

On our last morning in Kilgoris , I sat with her in her tiny office,  settling up our room and board.  When we finished, we just chatted for a while. As we did, she leaned forward to confide something to me.

“Once, I was in the chapel for my 4AM prayers. Suddenly, something came upon me, and I heard a voice say, Receive the Blessing.
I looked at her and said, “Sister Julian, I’m pretty sure that was the Holy Spirit.”
She considered this and smiled.
“A week passed by, and I was again in the chapel. As I was praying,  something came upon me again, and this time I heard, Be a blessing.

I laughed,  “Sister Julian, that something  was definitely the Holy Spirit.”

She nodded, and her smile lit up the room.

Do you ever meet people and I think, Hey I can see Jesus in them!

That is Sister Julian. We all saw Jesus in her. There was a radiant joy and peace about her. She is wonderful to be around.

Really, the very essence of the Gospel can be distilled into what that sweet Kenyan nun heard during her morning prayers:
Receive the Blessing .
 a blessing.

The Blessing is Christ Himself.
Being a blessing is the fruit of His life in us.

That’s really good news!

I met a woman in the grocery store yesterday, filling my grocery sacks for me. She had that same glow of Jesus all over her too.

But that’s another story!










2 thoughts on “Sister Julian

  1. I’ve been thinking about the word “blessing” a lot lately, thinking about how to talk to the kids I pastor, about having a thankful heart and gratitude – and where it comes from and what it does in inevitably I come across articles written about counting our blessings… And I always have had a little bit of a problem with the term blessing meaning things given to us by God… like God blessed me with this job, or someone gave me a car – see how God blessed me?! Or healing being attributed to being “blessed” – because what about those that can’t find work, and are still sick, and have no way to get to the grocery store to buy food for their kids? Are they any less blessed by God? Does He favor me over others because I was able to have a child and someone else can’t? It just sits uncomfortably with me and I’ve been thinking about how to frame “blessing” in a way that reflects the nature of God and how He sees us… and I think this nails it. Your sweet friend receiving the blessing of the Holy Spirit – then being commissioned to BE the blessing – this resonates in a place deep inside me. That our “blessings” don’t have anything to do with what we have or don’t have – but we are Blessed because of who He is, and who He says we are. And I know this sounds horribly vague, but I’ll keep putting language to it. I just wanted to say thanks for sharing. It’s the simplest things, sometimes, that unlock the deepest freedom in us. ❤️

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