The oppressive heat of California’s San Joaquin Valley made everyone feel like muffins in an oven and the air conditioning didn’t quite make it all the way to the far back of the family station wagon. There, in the rumble seat facing the opposite direction, sat a dark haired little girl, entranced by the car radio. It was always the same, one of two choices: Dodgers baseball or Focus On the Family. Rayna like both, but something about Focus On the Family drew her in. It was 1980’s, and tiny Rayna Clark was just beginning to hear a distant call.
Years went by, the little black haired girl went away to college in Fresno. While there, she began traveling and singing with a music group. Their travels led them to a city in the shadow of Pike’s Peak, Colorado Springs. The once distant voice that called her as a young girl was now whispering loudly.
In the winter of 2000, Rayna packed her things and moved to Colorado Springs to work for the ministry she had grown to love as a girl, Focus On the Family. It was easy. Rayna loved Focus, Focus loved Rayna. She began giving tours of the facility, always stopping in front of the broadcast booth to listen in on broadcasts and point out people of note on the other side of the glass. Little did she know.
The whispering became a song in the summer of 2003. Rayna and I met at a giant youth event, and even though I didn’t own a station wagon, my minivan was enough to convince her to marry me (that, and I told her she didn’t have to face the other way while we were driving). We had both followed the echo of Heaven’s song, and it brought us together.
Our paths to each other were long, difficult, full of wonder and pain. But, also beautiful. This past week, the little girl who grew up entranced by the car radio, found herself on the other side of the glass in the broadcast booth, sharing her journey with 3 million people. The distant voice that had called her, was now using her voice to speak to others, to call them, to remind them that our journeys are not in vain, that God is beside us every step. Amazing, how life comes full circle. Amazing how God directs our paths so gently, yet so fully. Amazing the grace that is so abundant in our stories.
Below: John Fuller (FOTF radio host), Rayna, Danny, Jim Daly (Pres. FOTF). Broadcast scheduled to air Aug. 18/19th.