The first time I encountered Dodie Osteen.
The first time I went to Lakewood, a woman who had invited me picked me up and took me. As we were sitting, people started passing buckets around. I asked the woman what they were doing. She told me they were taking up money. I kind of freaked out inside because I thought they were charging a fee for being there.
Before the bucket got to me, I searched in my wallet. I found a letter I had written to God. Quickly I scribbled on the back an apology for not having anything to give. I told whoever would look at it that the letter was all I had, that I hoped they would forgive me and accept it.
That night the lady asked me back. When I told her I had nothing else to give, she explained the concept of them taking up tithes and offerings. I went back with her.
Dodie Osteen went to the platform and then called me out. She asked if she could read my letter. I shook my head yes, and she read. Halfway through, she stopped. I looked up, and she was in tears.
She composed herself and finished. People got up and hugged me and told me how blessed they were. I will never forget that night.
Every time I saw her afterward, I would address her as Mrs. Osteen. She would stop and say, “That’s Mama Dodie to you.”
I’m so grateful to the woman who invited me, I don’t remember her name. However, I will never forget. Because of her, I have a cherished memory.