It’s happy here.

Very few things can stir delight in my heart like hearing those words flow off the precious lips of Ruby Mai.

Ruby has a number of gifts she graciously offers others, stranger and friend alike. Two of her greatest gifts are the joy she has for life and great love she has for people… it is infectious, really.

There is nothing quite like her “Good Morning” hugs,

hearing her say, “I love you, Buddy,” right on time,

“Jesus!” prayers when you share you are sick or sad,

“Jesus!” celebration cheers when you tell her you are well or feeling better,

raising the roof in the car when a nice Hip Hop beat hits the airwaves,

hearing her take great joy in doing things for herself,

songs of praise she pulls from her shower concert repertoire whenever the water begins to fall upon her,

her megaphone laugh,

road trips to Beersheba to share in one of the highlights of her year & so many others at Belmont– the All Church Retreat,

her love and care for my family,

how everything is $2 and worth every penny,

her excitement whenever she hears she gave Jesus food or gave Jesus a cup of coffee,

the road rage she gets when someone cuts you off,

voicemail messages of her singing “Jesus Loves Me” during my sabbatical,

utter delight over any child that crosses her path,

her Diet Coke request whenever she gets into the car or

her love for God and her church.

My Church — two other words I delight in hearing her say.

Whenever we bump into a member of Belmont on our excursions around town, she loudly announces for all who have ears to hear,”MY CHURCH!” as she makes her way to offer them a BIG hug. Every time she does it, she reminds me church is not a building you sit in on Sunday and maybe Wednesday each week– it’s a community of people you share life with… family you look forward to crossing paths with each day.

She sees the beauty in people and makes sure they know it.

She sees Jesus in almost everyone she meets regardless of the miles their shoes have walked, and it is safe to say we all see Jesus in her.

I can only imagine how many times Love has used her smile and affirmations to lift up people’s souls, reminding them of who they are.

Ms. Ruby is an arrow pointing to Christ.

I am thankful today for Ruby Mai and the joy she offers us all.

I love her.

She makes life beautiful, and I am so glad she is walking through this crazy world with me.

It’s happy here.

“Life is beautiful.

Life is wonderous.

Every star above is shining just for us.

Life is beautiful on a stormy night, somewhere in the world the sun is shining bright.”

Keb’ Mo’, Life is Beautiful