My last two posts have been about obedience to God in a place of rest rather than striving.
This story occurred last week as I went about my day. Toilet paper, meat, vegetables, fruit, pasta, rice had flown off the shelves, and our supermarket shelves were bare.
I had just dropped my daughter to her ballet training when a ballet teacher Miss A ran up to the car to apologise for opening the studio late. I smiled and said not to worry. I was keen to get to the plant nursery (a job I had planned for over a week). However, rather than being able to wave a cheery ‘goodbye’ and speed off I saw that she looked distressed.
I had to stop and slow down for the one.
Miss A started to pour her heart out about her fears. She feared her loss of income, how she had not been able to buy anything at the supermarket (where she had been and run late that morning), how she was running low in toilet paper, and food, and she had so many to feed at home, including two growing teenagers training at an elite level in ballet. She then said how worried she was for her 14-year-old daughter who had cried with fright, how her son’s training was being interrupted, and how all the overseas scholarship training and performing opportunities had dried up due to the virus.
I looked at her distressed face, stopped, remembering we were to bring ‘Hope” to the world. I recalled that I was born for such a time as this (even though I felt just as useless) and I spoke out the good, how blessed she was that she could continue to train her beautiful children, how I had been praying for the studio, for the staff, that it would be ok, that we would all be ok, that maybe we could do some distance training online … (gently, gently I dropped that last idea in since it was as yet unformed in my heart – it would not be until the following day that God confirmed this to be a suggestion).
I really didn’t have any answers for her and felt a bit useless; however, as I drove off, I prayed, and as I did I felt my morning gently being rearranged by an invisible but very present Fatherly hand.
I was to go back to my home suburb. This made no sense to me, but I listened and as I drove I felt to go to my local greengrocer/mini market.
“Ok God I will, what have I got to lose if I’m wrong, and then I’ll head to the nursery.”
Gardening is my thing and with enforced home time looming, and a birthday gift voucher burning a hole in my pocket, I wanted to get to my purchase before shops shut. I never did get to the nursery that day …
I walked into the local shop, and to my surprise there was loads of everything – there was an abundance of food … fresh chicken, potatoes, sweet potatoes, pasta, rice everything she said she needed but could find …
As I wandered and bought a few things for our home (chicken and sweet potatoes and potatoes) I felt a nudge to text the teacher. I was a little reluctant – I just don’t like looking too keen if you know what I mean, but on the nudge I texted, and then rang, leaving a message.
She rang back quickly and I explained there was plenty of food – what did she want?
She said she would go later, to which I replied, “no, I will do the shopping for you to be sure you have what you need.”
In a nutshell, I got a shopping list from her and I loaded my trolley with her shopping needs chicken, wraps, corn, sweet potatoes, brown rice, potatoes, leek, vegetable stock … the list went on.
At the end of the call she breathlessly said: “I told LS (her daughter) that people’s kindness would shine through and we would be ok.”
I agreed, we would be ok … and I agreed that her daughter would see people’s kindness shine through this time, even though she had been so frightened by the bare shelves she had seen that morning.
Now, while I would like to take credit for this all, I must say, it was not me … I just did the shopping!
Had God not told me to go to this particular shop, I would not have done so. Had I not gone, I would not have then felt the nudge to text/call her when I was surrounded by all the abundance. Had I not stopped to listen to her heart felt fears and needs, I would not have known she had those needs. To be honest, as I walked around the shop I felt absolutely moral bound to call her, now I knew her need, to let her know there was so much food. I had to be sure she would be ok.
It was SO like My Father, to lead me to abundance in a seemingly barren place.
I was blessed, because I was able to purchase for my home, but as I did I could also do His shopping for the one that was on His heart. Both Miss A and I were blessed.
In a nut shell, I bundled the items up, and dropped them to the studio when I collected my daughter. Miss A’s teenagers would have enough protein to keep dancing and the family would have some fresh food for at least the next few days.
After this I knew to step back again. To have kept shopping for her like that would have made her feel embarrassed. I obey, and wait for the next nudge. It is in this way God releases (albeit through a pretty broken vessel by now) His goodness.
She knew I had been praying for them all.
Her needs were met for the day, and I continue to pray for her and all the studio staff in the days to come, purely and simply because …
God is so very Good!
Please – if you have a story of stopping and serving in this time of challenge, big or small, share it below, or message me so I can share it because it glorifies God to have His goodness shared, and in the testimony is the power to call upon His name to “do it again Lord.” If we all just stop for the one as we go, global wide, people will taste and see that God is Good!