My mother is world-famous for making connections. She's savant-level at connecting people to people and their moms. And their churches. And their pastors. And the seminaries the pastor went to. And perhaps a professor at that seminary.
Mom: Oh, so you go to St. Paul Lutheran? That was Pastor Keefe's old church.
Target: Yes. Pastor Keefe. He baptized my Linda.
Mom: Keefe baptized my Erin's second grade teacher. Good man. Went to St. Louis Seminary, I think. The Holy City.
That's how it works.
So Mom will appreciate this:
Warning - deep history to ensue:
I was going to drive to Chicago for a shoot and decided that, despite how broke we were, I'd download an album and listen to it. I went to Amazon.com and downloaded a single mp3 of a song I had heard part of on the radio. Loved the guy's voice.
I downloaded the wrong song so I went to download the right song while listening to the wrong song. I loved them both. Decided to download the whole album.
A week or so later, I'm addicted and listening to it as I go to get my pregnant wife's sonogram. They told us my daugher had a heart defect, which would require surgery. I drove back to work listening to a song from the album: Shine Your Light, singing over and over again, Oh My God, Shine Your Light on her, that she might live. I was crying.
I wrote the artist, Robbie Seay, on his blog. I told him thank you for the song, that it was all I had.
Five months later, Zoe was born and God let her live. Her condition, this world's tilting to sin and destruction sought to claim her cells but God wanted her alive. We were told she'd die. Soon.
I wrote Robbie again. I told him thank you for his music because now it truly was sustaining me. Robbie wrote back. He gave me love and support and prayers.
My friends at work became the most profound hands of God I've ever seen. They brought food, they offered help, money, love. They were amazing.
My friend at work, Brooke, had a friend she grew up with, Heather. Heather is married to a pitcher for the Houston Astros. Heather came to work and visited with me and became determined to do something for Zoe.
My friends at work asked Robbie Seay to come give a benefit concert for Zoe. He said he would. And, on her 108th birthday, he performed in Brookfield. We talked and met and prayed.
As a thankyou, Brooke and Heather set up a special treat for Robbie - field-level seats for his favorite team, the Houston Astros. And...a thank you on the scoreboard. And...a meet and greet with the Astros. And...a feature on Fox Sports Net about Zoe and Robbie and Heather's husband, Chris.
Robbie went to the game, and took his brother and a family - the Beach family. The Beaches are adopted and have special needs and are being lifted up by Robbie and Chris's church, Ecclesia. I was so excited that Robbie would get something special from all of us. It sounded like they had a good time. I wrote about it.
A blog reader in Houston read my entry and decided to help the Beach family. She and members of her church gave gifts and support. "Barb read about a family that had reached out to Robbie Seay that needed help. It was a huge family that took in foster children and orphans and lost everything in the hurricane. Barb's efforts allowed her to donate 4 boxes of clothes and $200 in Wal Mart gift cards."
(The "Barb" mentioned above is St. Mipps' sister, Barb. That's for you Mom connection types.)
Barb has continued to support the Beaches. In fact, she nominated them for ABC's "Extreme Home Makeover." Here's Barb's explanation: "Robbie Seay's wife Liz was helping them out and I read about them on Zoe's blog . . . then we decided to help them out . . . so I contacted Liz and it was a done deal. They have 15 kids that they've adopted and foster, all with special needs. Their house was damaged and they were living in side-by-side trailers. They are all at Disney World this week as that crew comes in to makeover their home!
After the fact, I believe he even blogged about how we'd made that connection because of Zoe."
So Robbie Seay is on Extreme Home Makeover. It's filming now, in Houston, and will be on in March.
Jen says, "I've decided. They will no longer be referred to as "special needs" children, but as "special agents." Their mission? To give us unconditional love, to show us God's grace in all things, and to help make us better people. I think we are the ones with greater needs in this world. God bless all of you special agents out there, and thank you for all that you do for us!"