Isaiah 55 has been somewhat of a war cry for me this year. I love when the deep mystery of faith reveals itself in practical ways–when I see played out in vivid reality that His ways are higher than mine.
Usually I’m not so much of a girl person. Or a crowd person. But, this past Saturday I was both. Our church hosted a women’s conference where I spent some time worshiping Jesus with 299 of my closest sister friends. What a spiritual high! What closeness to God. What a movement of the Holy Spirit. God was there. I mean, my little messed up and somewhat oddball life intersected with the One Who spoke and the entire known universe was created. You get it? I floated from the sanctuary to the car.
So, I was less than thrilled when there was plenty of time left to go get the week’s groceries. Less. Than. Thrilled. It isn’t “Jesus-y” enough. God, I’m a prayer warrior princess, remember? I don’t wanna be about buyin no apples or gallons of Almond milk right now. Please, please God, let reality come a little later than literally the minute we said the closing prayer. Please?
But, God’s reality and mine are on two totally different planes of existence. His ways are definitely not my ways. For good reason.
There are people at our church who have this evangelism gift down to an art. They will walk up to any person at any time and tell them or show them the love of God. And it works. Something sticks. I am not so much that person. Not yet anyway. I’m what you call “afraid of strangers”. But, on the other hand, if God opens the door, I ain’t no dummy either.
Karen is the cashier at WalMart where I shop. Over the past few months I’ve learned she makes more money there than teaching, which, being a teacher myself, I can appreciate. I’ve learned she liked British Lit at college. She’s a mom. She loves taking care of her brother’s dog. A million little surfacey details. The thing is, as we chatted this past Saturday, God opened a door. As all moms get around to sooner or later, we talked kids. I told her about my boys and she asked about their time in college.
It gave me a chance to tell her how grateful I was that my offspring found a church and small group to help them navigate college. With a sigh, she shared that neither one of her kids, ages 18 and 21, were saved. Before I could respond, she asked me that if I ever felt like it, I could pray for their salvation.
Karen, did you just get deep? Did you just bring up Jesus? Would I pray for your kids’ salvation?
Um, yes. I got their names, and assured her that myself, along with the intercessory prayer team I was a part of would be praying for them to know Jesus. The whole float feeling from the Conference flooded my heart. Right there next to the faux pumpkins and 99 cent candy–the blue Walmart apron and the person on the scooter in their pajama bottoms and bikini top. God is willing to break into life in a grocery store as much as a church sanctuary. His ways are not mine. I gathered up my groceries and looked her in the eyes and told Karen to believe it was already done. Next week I’m recruiting Karen for our usher/greeter team. Just kidding. At least invite her to our small group.
Yes, Jesus! Thank You for the opportunity to stand in the gap for Karen and her kids. Thank You that Your ways and thoughts are higher than mine. That Your word which goes out before us is successful. Thank You that the point of the Women’s Conference was to get my walk together so that I can love on the Karens of this world. Pray for their kids. Make them feel like they matter. Learn from them how to be more like You.
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So often God shows up when we least expect! You have shared incarnational Ministry in such a practical way.