Wednesday, November 7, 2012

How Many Times Do I Have To Be Reminded?

I think God sometimes watches our moves and the decisions that we make, and thinks "Nice try, but you are still going to follow My will for today, not yours.  I continue to ask that you focus on others more than yourself, even when you don't want to".  

I found myself in this situation yesterday as I tried to avoid a moment and a conversation that would take ten minutes out of my morning.  I was on my way home from dropping my younger son off at school, and stopped to grab my daily Diet Coke.  I had to get home and start homeschool with my older son who is battling Lyme Disease,  I had a staff meeting with E4 Project and a million other things on my list for the day.  

First, I need to explain that my morning Diet Coke problem has been used by God in numerous ways. God makes it pretty clear that we should care for those in our path every day.  As Beth Moore stated in a video in her James series that I just heard last night after this incident, "Our life should be full of mercy. In order for us to be filled with God's mercy, we have to feel mercy for people. You can help people financially when possible, and if you cannot afford to, you can always converse and notice them."  Well, throughout the past few years and different addresses, I have gotten to know some people in my path - the employees who I meet at my regular stops.  In every instance, it has led to me developing a friendship with my server and sharing Christ's love with them and either money or gift cards based on their needs.  Everyone has such an amazing story to share if you are open to hearing.  

My newest friend has been a gal that I have gotten to know over the past two year in Niwot, CO.  She is a recovering Meth addict and a mom of four children.  Her husband is from Mexico, has lived in the States legally for many years, but was deported after two DUIs.  They have been apart for about a year and a half now. She is working 6-7 days a week, struggling to pay all the bills and also lawyer fees to bring her husband back.  Last year at Christmas, our family helped pay for bus tickets so that they could be together in Juarez, Mexico on Christmas as a family.  We always have great conversations and I really enjoy talking with her.  However, I was really tired yesterday morning and decided to skip my regular stop so that I did not need to talk to anyone.  

I went to the nearby gas station in town that is owned by a Chinese family.  I hate to admit it, but I am in there enough too that they recognize me as a regular customer.  The morning gal is not very friendly and usually does not say a word to me.  Yesterday, however, she asks me if I am a nurse.  I glanced around to see if she was talking to someone else, but the question was directed at me.  I told her that I was not a nurse and then she asked me if I was in a hurry.  Of course the thought crossed my mind to say, "Yes, I am in a hurry", but I knew this would not be the correct response.  I told her that I had time and she proceeded to show me medical bills and a letter that she was trying to write for a Chinese friend. He does not speak English,  has major medical bills and a new cancer diagnosis.  I read her letter and the English was horrible.  I knew that the billing office would not understand all that she was writing.  My heart immediately opened up as I thought about this poor man who does not speak English, has cancer, makes $1000 per month and now has to go through treatments and medical bills without insurance.  After reading her letter and talking to her about the situation, I found myself offering to take the information home and write the letter for her friend.  

Last night, I wrote the letter to the billing office and gave them my name and number as a contact.  I said that I could help pass information back and forth between the hospital and the family at the gas station so that they can help their friend sort out this nightmare he now faces.  I dropped the letter off this morning with the medical bills and told the gal that I am happy to continue to help them in this process.  I have no idea where this all will lead, but found it a little ironic that in my move to avoid a simple conversation with someone, I ended up in a deeper conversation and commitment.  I came home thinking that God can be really creative at getting my attention.

Last night the words to one of my favorite songs was running through my head.  The song is called, "Asleep in the Light" by Keith Green.  I encourage you all to google the full lyrics and listen to this song.  It is very convicting.  The words that I heard over and over were as follows:

"Cause He brings people to your door, and you turn them away, as you smile and say, "God bless you, be at peace" and all heaven just weeps.  Cause Jesus came to your door, you've left Him on on the streets" - Keith Green
I really do try and live my life in a way that I never close the door on anyone in need.  However, there are plenty of times that my selfishness and idea that my time is more important than others gets in the way.  I am really glad that God reminded me yesterday that my life is not my own, it is His.  

“When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, he will sit on his glorious throne. All the nations will be gathered before him, and he will separate the people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. He will put the sheep on his right and the goats on his left.
“Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world. For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.’
“Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’
“The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’ - Matthew 25: 31-40

I also want to add a footnote here that for the most part, I am down to this one soda a day.  I used to drink much more than that, and I am still working on getting off this poison completely - no need to lecture me in the comments section about this : )  At least God is using it to bring me into conversation and friendship with people who would normally not be a part of my life.

1 comment:

  1. Brynn, I love this reminder that our time, our money, our conversations - it's really not ours, is it? Even though we try so hard to hold on to it and manage it like it is?

    Thanks for telling this story, because I needed to be reminded that He will go to whatever lengths necessary to get our attention.