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Don’t ignore someone placed on your heart

My adventure to reach out to someone I hadn’t talked to in a while took an unexpected turn.  For starters, the two people I had intended to reach out to contacted me first!  And they don’t read this blog (to my knowledge) so it wasn’t like my previous post inspired them to do so.  It was great catching up with them, but in the back of my mind I kept wondering who I would end up talking to.  Since they reached out to me, I didn’t feel it was fair to include them in my quest to initiate communication.

Then that Thursday night I was reminded of someone I hadn’t talked to in a very long time.  Her name is JoAnne.  We met a year ago as a result of a Craigslist ad I responded to.  She was looking for baby boy items for a woman about to give birth.  We met up in a McDonald’s parking lot and had an instant connection; the Holy Spirit kind.  Over the months we sporadically kept in touch via email or text, but that Thursday evening she was really on my heart.

It was too late in the day to send a text, so I made a mental note for the next day.  I texted her to find out that she is in the final stages of COPD and has reached a point near the end.  Yikes!  However, even through text message I got an overwhelming sense of peace from her words.  She even mentioned that she was going to see her daughter in heaven.  Completely unsolicited she sent me examples of poetry she has written dealing with the loss of her daughter in 2001.

This was an interesting turn of events.  She and I had never spoken about writing nor the loss of her daughter.  I was touched that she would share such things with me, and again I felt so much peace coming from her.  It was very cool on many levels.

Later that evening I received a phone call from a coworker.  She was going out of town for the weekend to attend her best friend’s funeral.  I asked if there was anything I could do and she said I could pray for the mother who was burying her daughter.  The mother had lost so much already.  Immediately I was reminded of the poetry handed to me just hours before—dealing with the loss of a daughter.  I told my coworker that I would email her some encouraging words to share with the mother.  After getting permission from JoAnne, I emailed a couple of the poems.

Do I have all the details of whether or not the poetry made any difference to the grieving mother?  Nope.  However, I cannot help but see the connection in events.  God placed someone (very random) on my heart, and as a result of that communication I was able to offer some words of encouragement to another woman I will never meet.  The orchestration of it all blows my mind!  We do not often get glimpses into how little steps of obedience make ripples or waves in other people’s lives.  And even in this instance I do not know the cosmic outcome of it all.  However, it was a good reminder of how the little things can be turning points.  The little things can be catalysts.  The little things can become big blessings.

So let’s not forget to be obedient in the little things.  If someone has been placed on your heart—reach out!  If you see someone crying in public, offer a word of encouragement.  If you feel called to do something—please do it!  It may seem insignificant in the moment, but it just may be the tipping point in someone’s season of life.

I know I’m very guilty of wanting to see big impacts and big changes and big results.  I want to be used by God in big ways.  And I get discouraged when things don’t turn out like I plan.  So I have to continually remind myself that God’s definition of success is often so different than my own.  Bigger is not always better.  It’s the right thing at the right time which is the best thing, regardless of whether we recognize its’ significance.

Dear Lord, thank you for this day.  Thank you for giving us all opportunities to do something big with something little.  Please open our eyes to other opportunities you want us to pursue.  Lord, please give us a heart for those hurting.  Give us words and compassion to ease their burdens and let us see them through your eyes. 

Lord, please help the woman I saw on the side of the road as I drove home this evening.  I don’t know why she was crying and I don’t know why she was asking for help.  My initial reaction when seeing her was to judge the manner she was asking for help.  So many hold up cardboard signs by roads that it is hard to tell who truly needs help in that moment versus who just wants to take advantage of kind strangers.  I don’t know her story, but you do.  Lord, if I missed an opportunity to bless her then forgive me.  But I know your resources are not limited to me, so please make sure she is taken care of.  Obviously she left an impression on me that I haven’t quite shaken.  Lord, please give me compassion for those you would have me serve.

Lord, please open the eyes of those reading this to the little things they have been called to do.  Whether it’s a kind word of encouragement or something more, show them how they can honor you by serving others.  Lord, thank you for giving us the opportunity to serve you.  Please continue to show us the little things you have called us to in our daily lives.  We love you, Lord.  In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

My next adventure:

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