I’m sure I’m not the only one noticing that God is pretty amazing in how he cares about small stuff as well as big stuff.
First, the big stuff. This has happened before, but I’m always surprised—a slow learner, I guess. This morning I was walking along and praying along and listening some, too, when suddenly I realized that I hadn’t done anything for anyone except me and mine all week. (Taking my dear friend Shirley to lunch for her birthday does not count. It was as much for me as for her!) So of course, after that holy reminder, I said I was open, but who needed me? No answer within the next few minutes. But a couple of hours later, I got an unexpected call from a woman I don’t know well but who is a member at our church. I do know she’s raising her three ADHD grandchildren, grades 4, 5, and 6, because their mother, her daughter, is in prison. I hadn’t seen her since we returned, but at least she knew we’d been gone. She began with, “Oh, good! You’re home! I didn’t know if you were still in Honduras or Africa or wherever it was you were all summer.” At least I give her points for knowing we were on a mission trip to a far country.
Turns out she has had lung problems and throat surgery and is still recuperating. Her husband took off work to care for her and is now back at work, but there have been only bills and no paychecks for quite a while. Knowing gold is selling, she sold what jewelry she had and that helped for a while, but now the cupboard is bare.
She hesitated to call me, but called because she couldn’t reach the church office to ask for food from the church pantry. (So was the secretary not answering the phone one part of this godly plan?) I was thrilled that she called, because I had an enormous amount of leftovers from Saturday night, and we’d eaten on them all we could. I took her all that and more from my refrigerator, relieved that I still had it, all cooked and ready to share. I also stopped by the church building and loaded up on canned and boxed goods. When I took them to her—the first time I’d been in her home—she was ecstatic. I was impressed at the neatness and cleanliness of the house. This evidently is a woman who usually has it pretty much together but is up against hard times. The Lord just told her to call me, I’m sure.
She said she had my number from an old email I’d sent her months ago. Way back then I’d said for her to call me any time, but she didn’t squander that opportunity. She saved it up until she really needed it—and until I needed it as well. I can just imagine God saying, “Well, Lanita has all that food and not enough awareness to realize Debbie’s in need of it. I’ll just have to nudge Debbie to call her.” Because I don’t think he makes us do things; he just gives us the ideas and it’s up to us to follow through—or not.
Now for the small stuff. On Tuesday I picked up my contact lens to replace a broken one. (I’ve been dealing with an old one that’s the wrong prescription for two weeks, having to wear reading glasses, then they broke, blah, blah, blah.) I put the little square white packet on the front passenger seat of my car. I stopped at the bank to cash a check and at Dollar Tree where I bought two more pairs of reading glasses, just in case the new lens wasn’t the right strength. When I got home, the little plastic square was not on the seat. I searched, Steve searched, even Shirley searched the next day. We drove to the bank parking lot, guessing it might have stuck to my checkbook and been flipped out of the car. Nothing. I asked inside the bank. Nada.
This afternoon on the way home from Debbie’s (and the printer repair shop and the camera repair shop) I decided to check the Dollar Tree parking lot, too. I’d thought of that, but it just seemed too unlikely. I got out and looked under cars and all around where I’d parked. No luck. I got back in the car and started to drive away, still looking, as I had at the bank parking lot. Up against the wall of the store I saw a small white square. “That’s absurd!” I thought. “I didn’t even walk there. It couldn’t be….” But since I was checking all options, I stopped the car and got out to go look. There, against the wall, some Good Samaritan had carefully placed my contact lens container so it wouldn’t be run over and yet I would see it if I were looking. I was stunned. I almost fell to my knees right on the spot, but other cars were needing to get around where I’d stopped right in front of the store, so I got back in and drove home.
I feel so wrapped up and secure in God’s care. How on earth can he manage to care for all of us that way? That Holy Spirit guidance thing is a powerful force. I’m convinced that was the source of my thoughts to keep trying different places and to keep looking even when unlikely.
Thank you, Lord! And thank you for nudging that unknown person, probably another contact lens wearer, to put my lens in a safe and noticeable place. Thank you for the nudges for Debbie to call me and for me to be prepared with food they’d enjoy. She said, “My kids will go crazy over this! They will love dinner tonight.” And so will I—a spiritual feast just thinking about what a fabulous, Spirit-led day I’ve had!