Embracing the interruptions....
Some days are better than others. I count myself entirely blessed each and every day when I arrive home and can proclaim, “I survived!” Can you relate? We are all in a race to the finish line, busy all the time, places to go, people to see, goals to reach, lists to check off. So how do we handle a day when our schedule is interrupted? I didn’t blink at first when this happened yesterday. I picked up Chloe from preschool after work, and I needed to make a stop to pick up a prescription at the store, and then it happened. I saw them standing at the stop sign, a common place that many in our homeless community stand in hopes of some help as we all drive by. A middle aged man in a wheelchair, and a young woman probably late 20’s next to him. Not far behind them was an older model SUV vehicle, looked like it had been in a couple wrecks at best. I felt that all too familiar nudge from the Father in my heart as I pulled into the parking lot for us to go in the store, “They need your help…”. I didn’t hesitate. I told Chloe we were going into get a few things and would be going out to talk with them and give them some things to help them. She didn’t ask why, she just said as we walked into the store, “Yeah, Mom, let’s go and get them some snacks and help them!” As we walked in the store, Chloe helped me pick out a few items and then bag them up as we checked out and headed out to meet them. As we pulled around and parked close by, I prayed for Chloe and I as we prepared to meet these two precious people. I prayed for us to be safe, to be loving and to be ready to listen to their stories. As we approached them and visited with them, what a sweet conversation it became. It has been my experience more often than not, to hear such a positive and hopeful outlook from those I encounter on the streets of Springfield. They aren’t different from us, just simply trying to make a good life for themselves in this world. In our brief conversation, I learned they had been living out of that beat up SUV, along with her 5 children. Their greatest need? To find a place to sleep that night. As her son came over during our conversation, he listened intently as I asked them how I could be praying for them and let them know we care about them and God loves them deeply. After I prayed with them, she struggled to say thank you and had tears in her eyes, and he expressed thanks for both of them for what little I was able to provide. He said to me, “You know, we aren’t out here to take advantage of anybody, we are thankful for what anyone is willing to do to help us. We are just trying to make it like anybody else.” I watched as we got into our van, and the young woman’s older son was enjoying a can of the soup I’d given them, looked as if he’d not had much to eat that day the way he gulped it down. Chloe was quiet at that point, didn’t say much as we pulled away. We both waved as we passed them and they smiled and nodded. I think it is safe to say both of us felt thankful to have been part of God’s plan that night, to have helped someone in need.
We got home a short time later only for me to realize that I’d left my phone on silent, and missed my son’s text reminding me he had Scouts that night……and I had forgotten. I immediately apologized, and started to feel so bad about it. But then as I thought about it, I talked with my son and said how this very moment was a reminder to me that in fact what I perceived as an interruption in our day to day schedule, was actually a Divine appointment. If I had it to do again, I wouldn’t hesitate to do the same thing. Are we ready to obey His call upon our hearts even to the point of letting go of what was set on our schedule for that day? What’s the greater priority? I know what mine was, and I am so thankful I chose to go the direction I did.
We have opportunity every single day to act outside of our planned schedule, to step with all of our faith into a moment God appointed us for long before it occurred. I’m learning to expect these “interruptions” more, and I am thankful for the chance to love others as Jesus did when He was on this earth. I want to be more like Him, I don’t want to hesitate to help when He calls me to be available.
If you make sure that the hungry and oppressed have all that they need,
then your light will shine in the darkness,
And even your bleakest moments will be bright as a clear day.
The Eternal One will never leave you;
He will lead you in the way that you should go. (Isaiah 58:10-11 The Voice translation)