• 75°

Susan Shinn column: Send me, Lord

Susan Shinn

Susan Shinn

Susan Shinn

Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying, “Whom shall I send? And who will go for us?”

And I said, “Here am I. Send me!”

Isaiah 6:8

 

It’s not often that the Lord speaks directly to me. But He did the morning of Sept. 25, on the sidewalk in front of my church.

At the time, I was on the phone with Pastor Beth Kearney. Earlier in the week, St. John’s Lutheran had hosted a cooking demonstration by Palestinian chefs. It was a great success, and during our conversation, I mentioned to Beth how much I’d love to visit the Holy Land some day.

“You should consider going on the trip with the bishop,” she said, “because Adrienne needs a roommate.”

That’s when I very clearly heard the Lord say, “You are going on this trip.”

“That’s all well and good,” I told the Lord, “but you need to get me there.”

Being a single mom, full-time freelance writer and part-time church worker, I do not have a line item in my monthly budget for overseas travel. However, I was certainly willing to go if that indeed was where the Lord was sending me.

It seems He was.

“I’ll give you the money I was going to give Adrienne for having to pay extra for a single room, and I’ll talk with Leonard to see what he can do,” Beth said.

This was exciting for me. Adrienne and I had worked together at St. John’s during the year she’d taken off from seminary, and we’d become good friends. Her father had died in the spring, and I really wanted to spend some time with her.

Later that day, Beth emailed me, having secured one-third of the funds I’d need. That night, I went to Charlotte to see a performance by Palestinian musicians, other members of the group that was visiting the States as part of Room for Hope, a Palestinian arts celebration.

I happened to meet Beth Nelson Chase and Jennifer Grandberry, who work for Bright Stars of Bethlehem, an organization that raises funds for social programs at Christmas Lutheran Church in Bethlehem. I mentioned to them that an opportunity to travel to the Holy Land had arisen — would they be interested in my doing some work for them while I was there?

Their eyes lit up.

“We’ll get back to you,” they said. By the end of the evening, they’d committed another substantial part of the expenses.

A dear friend from church helped me work out the rest of the fees, and I applied for a passport.

Then I paid a visit to my next-door neighbors — my parents. I’d already decided I wouldn’t go if they didn’t want me to. At the time, things were fairly stable in the Middle East, so I felt good about my chances.

“I’ve got a freelance job I want to talk to you about,” I told them one afternoon. “I’m going to be doing some work for Pastor Mitri Raheb.”

My father looked at me, his eyes narrowing.

“Are you going to Bethlehem?” he asked.

I took a deep breath.

“Yes,” I said. “Yes I am.”

I peeked at Mother out of the corner of my eye. Dead silence.

“This is too big of an opportunity for you to pass up,” she said.

Whew!

It looked as if the Lord had told me to go — and I was going.

Freelance writer Susan Shinn lives in Salisbury.

Comments

Coronavirus

Nearly 400 cases considered currently active in the county

Education

Rowan-Cabarrus Community College creates free course to help parents tackle virtual learning

Business

New unemployment claims down in August, could indicate positive trend for businesses

Crime

Salisbury man faces drug possession charges after overdose call

Crime

Police: Man charged after children call 911 from neighbor’s house

Ask Us

Ask Us: Who are people behind sign at City Park playground?

Coronavirus

Prison in Salisbury latest site of COVID-19 outbreak

Crime

Blotter: Salisbury Man charged with felony assault by strangulation

Nation/World

Trump vows quick Supreme Court vote, Biden urges delay for Nov. 3

Nation/World

New rule may strip pollution protections from popular lakes

East Spencer

East Spencer draws crowd for annual community day

Elections

In Rowan’s legislative races, Howard, Warren get off to strongest start in fundraising

Business

From Navy SEAL to Medicare agent, Trent Waller looks to continue serving his community

Elections

In 13th Congressional District race, Budd, Huffman differ on government’s role in COVID-19 help

Local

Rowan County Telecommunications joins new state digital 911 system

Education

School board will consider scheduling public hearings for Faith, Enochville closures

Business

Biz Roundup: Food Lion makes donation to support racial equality and justice

Elections

Republicans rally supporters at Saturday lunch

Elections

Budd holds wide lead over Huffman in fundraising, cash on hand

Crime

UPDATED: 1 shot, 5 in custody after shooting at haunted house that attracted 1,000 visitors

Nation/World

Trump picks conservative Amy Coney Barrett to fill Supreme Court seat

Coronavirus

Deadly September propels Rowan County to 100 deaths from COVID-19

Crime

Highway Patrol charges man in hit-and-run after finding vehicle hidden in woods

Elections

NC elections board, Republicans at odds over absentee ballot rule changes