“You’ll never know how God used you to bring peace to my spirit.”

Pastor Greg Reynolds of Joyce Bible Church read this sentence from the book, Sticks, Stones & Songs, as he began the Sunday morning message.

Recorded on page 161, these were the words of gratitude spoken in 1952 by my mother to our neighbor. For several months Mother had fretted over being pregnant at the age of 47.  She didn’t know how she could face the raised eyebrows of the community, already dumbstruck by the size of the Corey clan. When she told Mrs. John Johnson how she felt, our elderly neighbor declared, “This child will be a blessing to you in old age.”

These words rang over and over in Mother’s ears until she came to realize God had spoken through Mrs. Johnson, and that this tenth baby was no accident.

Pastor Greg applied the phrase, “You’ll never know how God used you to …” as he reminded each listener of the importance of speaking into peoples’ lives now, even as Mrs. Johnson did for Mrs. Corey sixty-three years ago. He concluded his message with the book in hand and emotion ringing in his voice, “The words in this book spoke to me."

He paused, looked towards me, and said,  "And I believe God will use this book to speak to many others.”