I think sometimes we need to be challenged in our faith. Sometimes we need to venture into new pastures and experience God in a new fabulous ways. Bet you never thought about strangers or ministering to them this way? I know I never spent any time on it. A few Wednesdays ago one of the pastors from my church challenged us to reach out to strangers.
Honestly I listened, but no bells or whistles rang with this point of his sermon, as he tried to encourage us in our faith. It was point 4 and really I was not sure how it really tied into the other 3 previous points, but stuck it in storage for future pondering. (honestly when you sit next to a 3 year old- sometimes it is hard to make all the sermon points clear in one's mind).
Then Thursday came (the week before Thanksgiving). I went to my morning Bible study and during sharing time found myself crying. I think I am not the only one who doesn't like crying or the feeling it leaves you in for the rest of the day. I've never cried and felt better, just exhausted and trashed. So on this day I moved on, deciding to change plans of running errands later in the day, when my kids are at an activity. I dropped them off and go to head for home, with two kids in tow...
Here I am totally undone still, no make-up thanks to the big weep and feeling anything but social. The Holy Spirit says to me,( as I pull out of the parking lot drop off 4 kids, still have the 3 year old and the 17 year old.),
'To turn the car around and pick up the young woman,
who is walking down the road carrying a large red box.'
I know it isn't my voice, but the Lord's. Part of me says,
"C'mon really? Don't you remember that I am going home to hide out until tomorrow?"
The Lord says, "Do it, offer her a ride."
To which I turn the car around, tell my daughter to clean off the front seat and that we are going to be picking up the woman with the box (who is walking in the drizzly rain). I tell them God has told me she needs a ride from us. They know that when God speaks to me, that I try to obey, even if it's hard. Here is another perfect example.
My 17 year old doesn't say much, but takes the stuff from the front seat.
(a laundry basket full of raccoon food - for those who are curious).
I pull along side of the girl and ask her if she wants a ride. She looks scared.
(I would be, wouldn't you?)
I point out that I am a mother of 8- thus the huge ship that I drive. AND that two of said 8 are in the car with me. I remind her that it is raining and chilly outside. I try 3 times to convince her. The third time is the charm and she says yes.
As she is climbing in to said HUGE car, tank, she says her name. However, being the driver I am only half paying attention because there are now several cars behind me and I am concerned about an accident occurring. On top of that she can't get her seat belt on. (she thinks it is because she is too big...but she is a skinny tall girl in her early 20's).
I pull over and help her with her seat belt. I ask her where she lives. I was thinking this was the road she lived on, as I had seen her walking home from work every week. (she is wearing a nurses uniform and I know that the nursing home is already a mile back from where we are).
She names off a road and tells me she was going to a bus stop that brings her home. So instead I learn where her road is...we chat along the route. Turns out she lives a few roads behind my husbands workplace.
She doesn't take me the quickest way, but the bus route that she knows. It lets us talk a bit more than we would have been able to otherwise.
She shares she has only lived here for 1 1/2 years. She shares she is from Missouri. She also shares that she too was adopted (I shared about how God had prompted me to pick her up- how I never have picked
up before and how I have 8 children, 7 of whom God has brought to us through adoption).
God doesn't prompt me to do anything else today, just to be kind and offer her a safe ride. Though I think He has a ride in store for her that she is yet unaware of!
We arrived at her house and she thanks me for the ride.
I tell her I really enjoyed getting to know her and that it was my pleasure
(which it was, as it was the highlight of my day!!)
When she got out I asked my daughter to remind me of her name-
she couldn't remember. (we need to work on this!!)
Anyway, not sure what God is working on, but as I know this wasn't my idea
I am excited to see what my Father has planned,
as I know in my heart that we are not done yet.
*I never even thought about what my Pastor had said,
until I got home and then it dawned on me that I had gotten to minister to a stranger!
wait until you hear the next part!!