Tuesday, January 18, 2011
Well most of my posts are about something profound I learned from God. One of those "smack you in the head" moments that you can't help but talk about.
Tonight's events unfolded a little less dramatically, but God is still teaching me through it, let me fill you in...
I went to Walmart and was unloading my kids from the car when a bewildered looking woman walks up and ambiguously stands by me...not looking directly at me or addressing me, just standing there holding fake flowers in her hand and looking confusedly off in the distance. After looking at her a moment, wondering if she was going to pull out a gun on me (I watch a lot of Bruce Willis movies) I said "are you alright?". She proceeded to ask me if I wanted to buy some fake flowers so she could have money to buy her daughter diapers etc. I said I wouldn't give her money, but I was happy to buy her some diapers etc. She obliged and off we went...shopping. While we were standing in line I started hearing this voice in my head reminding me that I have the truth of the gospel and I needed to share it with her....I'm thinking "here...in Walmart?". I start feeling really anxious as the line is super crowded and there is no way I want to freak people out by saying (whisper voice) "Jesus". I look over in the line next to me and a friend from church is buying some groceries. A few minutes later I look further in the line and there is another woman from church in line and it dawns on me..."I'm not alone...Christ himself is here with me."
After some pathetic attempts at talking to her about Jesus (I'm not even going to feign eloquence or bravery), and some blank stares that returned I realized this was a closed door. I asked her how I could pray for her, gave her my email address, and told her about our church, which could help if she needed anything in the future. After many pleas from her for money to pay for the cabin she was staying in for the night (???) and an explanation that her brother was waiting in the car she left with not only diapers but (per her request) diapers, wipes, formula, a pacifier and a bottle, and I left with the receipt and the sneaking suspicion that I was being ripped off.
Then I came home and heard from three friends who shared stories with me that encouraged my pants off. The first was from the friend I saw in line. I wrote her and told her how her being there encouraged me and she said she was encouraged to know God had plans for her in light of her day. Apparently she had a day where nothing went according to her plans and it was nice to know that God could use her to accomplish his plans and that his plans were even better than hers. What a reminder to me (one who so often thinks I have amazing plans that God need only to listen to) that he is the creator of heaven and earth and has plans for me that will knock my socks off if only I'll show up to the game and stop trying to lead.
The second story was a friend who loved me enough to share a verse with me:
"But I tell you who hear me: Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you. If someone strikes you on one cheek, turn to him the other also. If someone takes your cloak, do not stop him from taking your tunic. Give to everyone who asks you, and if anyone takes what belongs to you, do not demand it back. Do to others as you would have them do to you."
—Luke 6:27-31. NIV
This was so good for me to remember, that it's not up to me to guard my money shrewdly but to give freely. Letting God be the judge. It was a breath of fresh air to remember that giving of my time, and my money, and my sanity (remember? Walmart?) was not in vain because he ASKS us to do that whenever it's required of us. And as a mother, it's required...in great demand.
The third story was from another sweet friend who told me of a time when she bought someone begging for food a hamburger and he shoved it in his pocket. She wisely pointed out what a friend had shared with her, that God keeps giving good gifts to us no matter how many times we've taken advantage. It was so refreshing to me to think of myself as the same as this woman. Here I am...hamburgers in my pockets running around this life.
It reminded me of a scenario with Lincoln this morning while I was trying to teach him (for the 1,000th time) what the number 8 looks like. He always forgets the number eight...alllllllllllllways. And my impatient self gets so fed up with it. Finally today, after making up some rhyme about how it looks like a snowman and him forgetting again (tally: 1,001) I was telling him "Linc why can't you remember this?" when I looked over at my bookshelf at all the wonderful Christian books we have. Books about parenting, and marriage, and faith, and the gospel, and sharing, and truth and anger....all things I read, learned once, and quickly forgot. Here I am belittling my sweet son for not learning lessons, when I myself am in constant need of reminders...talk about humbling.
I was so humbled to picture myself, hamburger in my pocket taking for granted the amazing tremendous gifts and truths God has given me, and he constantly blessing me over and over. And it is that generosity that I pray will motivate me to constantly give of myself to whomever may need, be it my 4-year-old when we pass the number 7, or the homeless druggie in the parking lot. We all have hamburgers in our pockets. I pray for the grace to remember them, and the hunger to remind us they're in there.
Posted by Jenn at 8:07 PM