A few years ago, my father introduced me to Julienne Lentz, a friend of his with a story to be told. I promised her I would post about her book when we met then, and she has been patiently waiting since she sent me a copy in March.
Opened Our Hearts is a book about the author’s passion for the Make-a-Wish foundation, and what a blessing it can be as expressed through the wish granters’ point of view.
When Julienne and her husband, Ron, discovered that they could not have children, they prayerfully asked for other options. They considered Rainbows, an organization which helps children who have experienced personal loss in my own school, and Big Brothers, Big Sisters, but decided they needed an organization in which they could serve as a couple.
While watching a Super Bowl game in Pasadena, California, they saw a child who was seriously ill, shake hands with the Dallas Cowboy which was his favorite team. And there the idea of being “wish granters” for the Make-a-Wish foundation was born.
“Wish granters set out to create an unforgettable wish experience uplifting the spirit of the child, their family, and the entire community. Wishes help children feel stronger, more energetic, more willing and able to battle their life-threatening medical conditions. Through the foundation and their efforts, wish granters are able to bring hope, joy, and happiness into the child’s life during a difficult time.”
The stories of the children which follow are tender and moving. They remind me of a life lesson my parents have long instilled in me: “To whom much is given, much is expected.”
At the close of each day, I review its events and ponder if there is any way I may have had a positive impact on someone else’s life. Even such a small thing as smiling into someone’s crabby face makes me wonder if some light could have been shed in the darkness.
But serving as a wish granter, serving in a tangible way with children and their families who need joy and hope, leaves no doubt. How beautiful to be able to say, at the end of the day, “Ron and I may have questioned some of our choices along our life’s journey, as everyone does, but we reflect back with great satisfaction-we know for sure that we would not change a thing.”
What a wonderful testimony, as well as inspiration for others who wish to help those who are especially hurting. God bless you, Julienne and Ron.