They were part of a miracle of providing a home for expectant mothers who were unwed. Consider the miracle. Make that miracles.
The benevolent owners of a large lovely home made it available at a very good price. That in itself was an act of compassion.
The house needed to be refurbished and retrofitted for use by young women. We were short on funds. A representative of the Junior League called to ask if it could be used as a decorator show house. That would entail each room being assigned to a different interior decorator or store. They would paint the room and completely furnish it.
Here is a sidebar miracle. Just before the open house we were called again with the news the decorators wanted to leave the furnishings in the house. There was no reluctance in accepting.
Then there was the matter of a name for the house and ministry. It was the lovely home previously occupied by the esteemed Clay family.
I suggested we name it the “Clay Home.” What else? It honored the former residents and after all, the Bible speaks of us as being clay in the Potter’s hand. The residents would be ministered to with that image in mind.
Through the years many young women came through the home and gave birth to their children. Most of the babies are now in their late teens or early 20s. There are many inspiring stories of these rehabilitated young mothers.
Fast forward with me.
Recently after speaking in another community a lovely young woman spoke to my wife and me. She told how she saw my name and knew it from somewhere. About halfway though the message it dawned on her that when she was a resident in the Clay Home I was the preacher they were taken to hear three times a week.
She recounted how she wrestled with the idea of abortion and finally decided to enter the Clay Home, give birth to her child and place it for adoption.
While there an uncle offered to help her financially if she would keep the child. His grace and generosity enabled her to keep her baby.
The church family that envisioned the ministry, the friends who made the purchase of the house possible, the Junior League, the decorators who refurbished the home and the enabling uncle all had a part in her story.
She then related how close she and her 19-year-old son were. She spoke of how empty her life would have been without him. She was aglow as she spoke of him.
An update on her son followed. He is now enrolled in college on an athletic scholarship.
Now the clincher. The young man’s middle name is — you might have guessed it, Clay.
The Rev. Dr. Nelson Price is pastor emeritus of Roswell Street Baptist Church. Contact Price at email@example.com.