Wednesday, October 29, 2014

It happened… AGAIN!

It happens everywhere… It happens at the bank, in the hospital, at parks, restaurants, in waiting rooms, and at school programs.  It’s all types of people in all seasons of life… nurses, neighbors on lawn mowers, people walking by with dogs, the gas station attendant, frazzled mom’s dropping their kids off at daycare, and lost teenagers to name a few.

The list seems to be endless of people that I cross paths with that pour out their hearts and life stories to me in strange places.  Last night it was at the grocery store and I was in a hurry.

My son conveniently forgot to tell me (or maybe I missed it as he says) that he needed me to make “Chicken Enchiladas” for his Spanish class today.  The only problem was that I didn’t have all of the ingredients I needed.  I also had a busy night of errand running ahead of me.

When I entered the grocery store I was rushing.  I was glancing at my list, marking items off, and flying through aisle by aisle systematically.  HE found me in the frozen food aisle.  I was looking for popcorn chicken with no luck.  We were the only two spanning this area of the small store.  He was pacing the floor looking into the glass cases frantically, which was making me nervous.  If I could only find the blasted chicken and get out of there I knew I would feel better. 

I rushed hoping to sneak on to another aisle before he engaged me in conversation.  “How are you doing tonight Ma’am?”  I was friendly and cordial, but continued to move down the walkway looking for my lost chicken.  I was about to throw in the towel for this long lost item when he spoke again. 

“I’m ready for this year to be over, how bout you?  I smiled friendly not sure what to say when he continued on… “I lost my mom in April and this has been a hard year.  I talked to my mom every day about EVERYTHING. It’s been really hard.”

I felt a little uncomfortable for several reasons.  One, this man was alone and I didn’t want him getting too attached to me.  Two, I didn’t have my wedding ring on.  I haven’t been able to wear it for a few years now with all of my flare ups with my health.  My hands swell and it won’t fit.  I didn’t want to be advertising availability by accident.  Three, this man was pouring out his heart and sharing his hurt with a stranger in the frozen food aisle…why did he choose ME? 

It was another divine appointment as I call them.  A meeting of sorts set up by God.  I was unprepared.  I didn’t engage him completely in conversation about God, but I feel I conveyed God’s love through my responses.

I responded to the man with “Wow, it must be hard especially with the holidays coming up.”  He said, “Yeah, Mother’s Day was really bad, but it’s getting better now since I moved here… my kids are really helping me a lot.”  I left him with this… it wasn’t anything super spiritual or fancy.  “Take this holiday season to focus on your kids and I’m sure that will help a lot.”

Maybe I could have said more.  It was an on the spot, spur the moment meeting, and I wasn’t studied up (not that I needed to study or I do before I meet with people).  Despite my shortcomings, I believe God moved.  God spoke peace, hope, and love through imperfect ME.

I made a commitment to God a long time ago.  I offered myself to Him as a tool to reach others however He desired to use me.  I am available, ready, and willing.  I consider myself to be on call for God.  When He needs me to be an instrument to show His love to others, I want to be there. 

Some times I feel ready and other times I miss the moment.  I try to walk spiritually aware each day to the whispers of the Holy Spirit directing me. My goal is to be a light for God daily reflecting His love to others no matter where I am or what I am doing.

A verse comes to mind that reminds me of this…
“In the same way, you should be a light for other people. Live so that they will see the good things you do and will praise your Father in heaven” 
Matthew 5:16 (NCV)

I love how the Message version describes this…

“Here’s another way to put it: You’re here to be light, bringing out the God-colors in the world. God is not a secret to be kept. We’re going public with this, as public as a city on a hill. If I make you light-bearers, you don’t think I’m going to hide you under a bucket, do you? I’m putting you on a light stand. Now that I’ve put you there on a hilltop, on a light stand—shine! Keep open house; be generous with your lives. By opening up to others, you’ll prompt people to open up with God, this generous Father in heaven.”  
Matthew 5:14-16

I love the descriptive words used here… “We are lights to bring out the God-colors in the world”… “We are going public with this…” We are “light bearers” and “light stands” meant to SHINE!  Love it!  That’s exactly what I want to be for God.

As I am doing my best to shine brightly for God, you know what?  These “divine appointments” started happening all the time.  It still catches me off guard and surprises me.  Some how these people know “I” care.  It’s amazing to watch God work right before my eyes.  It boggles my mind.  I don’t use fancy words or pour on the scripture… my approach is totally relational.  It’s just ME being me… hang ups and all and some how God uses my imperfections to reflect His love to others.  He is very creative!

I don’t think you have to be a scholar, go to Bible College, or have read your Bible a hundred times through for God to use you.  I think He is only looking for a couple things… your willingness and availability

You don’t have to do anything fancy… just let Him SHINE through you and He will do the rest.  You will be amazed at what God can do through a willing vessel.  Ready, set, go shine brightly for Him and watch Him work in remarkable ways. 

Living to leave a legacy,

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