Monday, November 16, 2015

The Challenge: Sharing the grace

Every once in a while, it's good to look back through the archives
and remember how God has spoken to you.
To remember those "Ah-ha moments" when the light came on and something the Lord has been working on in your life finally clicked!!
The following is one of those posts.
I shared this story awhile back, but I remember it like it was yesterday.......

At Christmas time several years ago, I was extremely challenged
by Ann's post on "The Great Give-Away."
It's a must read!!

As well as Joy's post on "Being filled: The beginning of giving."

Giving is not something that comes naturally for me, I have to admit.
I tend to be the frugal one always thinking of ways to save and conserve and plan for later.
My hand naturally tends to be holding onto things for "just in case."
I like to think my motto has been, "Use it up, wear it out, make it do or do without."
Not......give it away.

But I want to be better.
I am learning that my Savior daily "loads me" with benefits, and when I open my life and let Him fill it,
I naturally have a desire to share the bounty.

So yesterday I was faced with a challenge.
I could see clearly that the Lord put this opportunity in front of me to test my decision.

I was running some errands with my oldest daughter and my "personal assistant" daughter (remember, where ever I go, there she is also?)
I had the plan, the route mapped out in my mind, and the time in mind I wanted to be back home.

We were literally a minute from our first stop when we pulled up to the stop light at the corner waiting to make our turn.
That's when she saw him.
The transient.
Or as they are known in my house......the hobo.
A man standing on the corner, looking rather tired and weathered, with a hand-made cardboard sign that said "Anything would help."
We made the turn and my oldest daughter said, "Mom, don't you think we could go to McDonald's or something and get him some lunch?  Then I could witness to him.  I have my Bible with me."

Okay, so this became an enormously complicated question for me.
I have to admit......I didn't want to do that.
All kinds of excuses popped up in my mind...'s freezing cold and too windy out,'s never a good idea to give hand-outs to those who are standing on corners because they could be frauds,
......13 year old girls should NOT be sitting down on the embankment with suspicious looking men,
...I have a 7 year old girl who we're NOT leaving alone in the van,
and the list could go on.

"Mom, there's a subway store RIGHT THERE.  
I could use my money and get him a $5 foot long. Please?"

I told her that I would think about this as I was running in to take care of my first errand.
As I took the key out of the van, the Holy Spirit impressed upon my heart.
"Do you REALLY want to be the hands of Jesus?  Really?"

After finishing my errand, I climbed back into my van, turned the key and the radio blasted loud.
The younger sister had tried to play a prank on me.
I teasingly asked, "Who did that?"
Lexi was quick to say, "Abby did, Mom.  I didn't want to do that because I didn't want you to say that I couldn't buy that guy some lunch."

She knows me too well.
I have been known to say things like that.

"Okay, Lord, I hear you."

So I tell Lexi that we need to find a tract because although she was going to be able to buy him some food, we wouldn't have the time or the place at that moment to open the Bible with him.

We couldn't find a tract ANYWHERE....not in any purse or Bible or cubby or storage spot....nothing.
So our plan was that after Lexi bought his lunch we would have to loop around under the highway and come back up the way we came to meet him at that stop light.

She came out of Subway and said, "Look, Mom.  I got this whole foot long, a bag of chips, and water all for less than $10!!  I hope he likes black forest ham, turkey, cheddar cheese, tomatoes, and lettuce."

So as we pulled up next to him the light turned red, which was a gift from the Lord.

I rolled the window down and as I handed him the food, I said, "My daughter felt led to buy this for you, and she wanted you to know that Jesus loves you, and He asked us to be His hands for Him today and to give this to you.  We certainly hope that you'll consider going to a church where they can help you and give you some encouragement."

He looked at me the entire time and mumbled at one point, "You're an angel."
Then he asked me, "What church?"
I told him, "ANY church.  Why there's a good one just down the road from here" (and I told him about the church we used to attend.)
At that point the light changed and we had to go.
Lexi was weeping by then.
She could hardly regain her composure, so she stayed in the van at our next stop to pull herself together.
I have to admit, the whole thing made my eyes run liquid too.

Lexi reminded us to pray for this man at our dinner table that night.
Where we had plenty to eat and some to spare.
Under a roof.....that we own.
On furniture.
Because my husband has not one, but two, jobs.

We are thankful.
I am learning.
Learning to see my blessings.
To see how really full I am.
And that I have plenty to share.
And that my children need to see that what I say I believe in church......

.....that Jesus loves EVERYONE,
.......that He sat down with and had meals with the outcasts of society,
.......that He approached those who were a little scary looking and obviously troubled,
.....that He offered them Living Water,
......that He wants us to emulate Him.....

I actually believe and LIVE out in our world!

And that in giving,
I am actually giving only what was GIVEN to ME in the first place,
and that in continuing to SEE,
I don't have to worry about coming up short.
There's plenty more where it came from, and in LAVISH amounts. 

"For God so loved.......that He gave..."

1 comment:

Donna said...

You are blessed to have a child who sees beyond the outward appearance. Your decision to follow the Holy Spirit's leading will leave a lasting impression on your daughters. You may never know what will come from your generosity and concern until we reach Heaven. May God continue to bless your family as you live each day for Him.