‘Entertaining Kings and Queens at Spark of Life Retreats’
One of our goals during a retreat is to treat our guests as a ‘king or queen’ for the weekend. That means we are there to serve those who come, for they are bruised, battered, and often barely holding on. They come mourning many losses that have left them in deep pain.
One way we do this is to carry their bags into their rooms, whenever that is possible. A few months ago, as a couple drove up Thursday afternoon, and as I began to help with their luggage, the husband refused to let me carry his bag. I responded as I usually do. “No, I will carry your bag. We are here to serve you this weekend.”
Now I am used to men arguing with me at this point, but he was, shall I say, just a bit more forceful than any of the others. “There is no way I will let you carry this. I am quite capable.” He then grabbed the bag from my hand.
I am a bit stubborn at times, just ask my wife and any of my closest 400 friends. I was determined he was not going to win this one. So I firmly stated, as I re-took the elusive bag, “No. I am in charge of this retreat and I am carrying your bag.”
So I did. As we approached their room, with him muttering behind me, his wife sweetly said in a voice obviously loud enough for him to hear, and loud enough for those within a mile or two to hear, “Thank you David. He never lets anyone help him.”
We opened the door to their room, a beautiful suite at Whitestone Country Inn, with a breathtaking view of mountains and a lake. As he entered the room, he gasped and said to his wife, “Honey, look at this room. It’s the most beautiful room I have ever seen.” And tears came to his eyes.
He then turned to me and said words we hear at every retreat, “Thank you for doing this, and thank those who have given to make this possible. This is overwhelming that so many care.”
His wife began crying as well. She then whispered words to me so that he could not hear. “David, this is the first time he has cried in front of anyone since our grandson died.”
We had a great retreat, and of course developed a great friendship with all there, including this beautiful, hurting, humble, open, vulnerable, and now hopeful –
So I am reminded once again to say thank you – to all who give their time, and money, and prayers in behalf of Spark of Life. You are making a difference.