Direct my footsteps according to your word. – Psalm 119:133a
A recent post from another blogger addressed the contrast between the world of the persecuted church and that of the Western culture. In the first, there is only one ongoing daily decision: Do what’s right or do what’s wrong. In our world, on the other hand, we make dozens, if not hundreds, of minor, mundane choices every day. The details of our daily lives can clutter up our minds and make it hard to focus on spiritual issues.
My morning began with some mundane choices, starting with what to wear. Here’s a summary of the train of thought in my ADD/OCD mind:
Jeans? … No, yoga pants would be better for the chiropractor – no waistband and stitching getting in the way. … Sweatshirt? … Too warm. … T-shirt? Not warm enough. … Long-sleeved t-shirt? Perfect. … Which one? … Gray? … Not with black yoga pants. Too dull! ”’ Navy blue? Too dark! Stripes? Too “yacht club” to wear with yoga pants...
It did cross my mind, Why do I care what I’m wearing to the chiropractor?
I grabbed a bright red, long-sleeved t-shirt I had received from the Red Cross as a “thank you” for giving blood. Bingo!
As I drove to my appointment, I passed the shopping center where I had been with my granddaughter the day before. A woman had been at the entrance then, holding up a sign saying, “Homeless. Hungry. Anything you can contribute would be appreciated.” I had stopped at the red light and given her one of the protein bars I always carry in the car for such occasions. It was “chocolate chip cookie dough,” but the way the lady squealed “CHOCOLATE!!!” you would have thought it was pure gold. After such a delighted response, I later wished I had given her the chocolate chip brownie protein bar instead – double the chocolate.
This morning I looked at the entrance as I drove to my appointment but didn’t see the woman there this time.
But driving home, I did spot her and decided to pick up a few groceries there, so I could treat her on the way out.
I was minding my own business in the grocery store, when I heard a cheery voice call out, “I love your shirt!” I turned to see two women, one in a motorized wheelchair, smiling at me. The one seated unzipped her Red Cross windbreaker to show me she was wearing a donor shirt, too. I got into a conversation with these delightful ladies about blood donations, our names and their meanings (Their names were a lot more interesting than mine.), and Jesus and how wonderful He is. As it’s been with other encounters with fellow believers, I felt as though I’d known these sisters for years.
I told them about the piece I’d written for this blog, with the dream where I went to heaven and met a lot of seemingly random people and heard their stories. In the dream I had realized what they all had in common – they had all received a blood donation that saved their lives, after which they met Jesus, who saved their souls. Then I realized the reason Jesus had wanted me to meet all of them; they had been recipients of my blood!
The ladies loved the story, and after “fellowshipping” some more, we parted ways, knowing we’d see one another again – “here, there, or in the air.”
As I said goodbye to my two new friends, I quipped, “I knew there was a reason I put on this shirt today!” They laughed with me.
As I was pulling up to the exit, the light turned red, giving me about 60 seconds to speak to the homeless lady. Before I could give her the chocolate-chocolate protein bar or say a word, she called to me as if she’d known me forever and exclaimed, “I just got great news!”
“What?!” I asked, genuinely interested.
She went on to say how good God is – all the time! She had hit a little “glitch,” but God was still blessing her. She told me about the poisonous spider bite that had put her in the hospital. She had somehow lost her social security money, but she had just learned that she was going to start getting it again. We cheered together.
“You should celebrate with chocolate!” I suggested, handing her the bar.
She grinned and replied, “Is there any other way?”
I told her I loved her positive attitude and asked her if she had checked out any of the places with the “Now Hiring” signs. I said anyone would be delighted to have someone like her as an employee. She told me she had a medical condition that kept her from working.
“I really miss working,” she confessed, but added, “God has blessed me, though. I needed to be here. It’s humbled me.”
(Talk about divine perspective … !)
I know plenty of people who have homes and jobs and food, whose attitudes aren’t nearly as positive as hers. (Sometimes I’m one of them.) I was so touched by her words, all I could say was, “God bless you!” I asked her name, and when she told me, I promised I’d pray for her healing so she could go back to doing what she loved to do and continue to brighten people’s day.
Looking back, I don’t know how all that conversation fit into the time span of one change of a traffic light, but the Lord is not only sufficient, He’s efficient.
On the way home I reflected on the two “chance meetings” I had just been blessed with, and I couldn’t stop smiling. Sometimes my thoughts, actions, and words seem scattered and random, but the joy I experience after a couple of encounters like these makes me believe nothing catches God off guard. He knows exactly what He’s doing, even when I don’t have a clue.
Prayer: Lord Jesus, thank You that I don’t have to be a genius with all my ducks in a row to live in Your will. I am amazed at the detailed way You orchestrate my life, moment by moment, delighting me in so many little seemingly random gifts, “just because.” (I love You!) Amen