On Sunday, I knew God was trying to get my attention. The pastor talked about the way God's Spirit whispers in our hearts and tells us to reach out to others. So often, we think, "Oh, surely that's not Him. That's just my own silly thoughts. Surely He's not asking me to do that." And we miss opportunities, we quench His Spirit, our own spirits shrink.
"Yes, Lord," I whispered. "I want to hear You. I want to do what you lay on my heart. No more balking or questioning You. I'll err on the side of of thinking it is you, not on the side of thinking it's not you." Lesson learned.
Well, yes, lesson learned, but have you ever had a lesson that did not have a test to see if the lesson was, indeed, learned??
The very next day was, of course, Monday. It was cold and wet . . . drizzly, damp . . . the kind of chill that gets in your bones and makes you miserable. Youngest Son and I did most of his school in front of the fireplace. That was where you wanted to be on this nastiest of days.
At lunch I ran out to do an errand and drove down a long, winding road with many small hills and valleys. On the right shoulder of the road a scruffy, middle-aged man walked, arms crossed over his chest, sheltering himself from the chill. Drizzly rain fell over his hair and dripped down his shirt.
"Buy him a hot coffee," the Spirit prodded.
"See, now, there I go again. Now I think I have to help everybody. Gotta get this errand done. Poor guy; he does look miserable!"
I ran my errand and then headed back down the same winding, hilly road. Same guy walking up the same road. Shoulders hunched into the wind.
"Buy him a hot coffee," same prompting.
Okay, I don't usually do this kind of thing. But I think this is Your prompting!! Yes, Sir. I'm off to McDonald's.
At McDonald's I ordered the coffee. No little $1.19 cup. No, I'll order my favorite . . . steaming hot mocha, lots of whipped cream.
I hurried back to where I'd seen the man and pulled to the side of the road. His eyes showed startled alarm. I'm sure he assumed some crazy woman had lost control of her car and his life was already beginning to flash before his eyes.
" Hi! I've driven by you twice, and I just think no one should have to be out in this rain. I wanted to buy you a hot coffee to warm you up."
Turns out he was taking the bus home and ran out of money and had been hitchiking/walking from Charlotte, NC . . . 95 miles away.
"I just want you to know God cares about you today. He loves you."
His eyes brightened, he smiled. And as I drove away I watched him in the rearview mirror. I saw him lift the cup and sip, and I knew he was licking up all the mounds of whipped cream with the chocolate drizzled over the top . . . and feeling warm.
And I felt joy.
"Whatever you do for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you do for Me."