I was trying to enjoy sleeping in one morning, but felt strangely drawn to get up. So (according to my trusty journal) I found myself cuddled in a big blanket on my living-room couch at 6am asking God what this was all about. I felt that He wanted to tell me something, to give me some kind of instruction. This was not normal for me, I am not a "got a message from God" kinda person...normally.
The words scribbled in my journal that morning include, "What is it Lord? You are preparing me for something and I want to be ready to obey. But what? "
I closed my eyes and pictured the poor people in my small town. Interesting. Was I supposed to do something for them? I had been reading the book of James in the Bible and was humbled by the instructions to assist the poor, the children and the widows.
A direct quote from my journal asks, "A children's outreach? Do you want me to help the families through the kids, Lord? Help me God, I'm such a chicken at this stuff. Can I be strong enough to step outside my house and really touch these that need you so much? I am more afraid of doing nothing!"
That day I thought that maybe I should go take a walk and pray for the poor neighborhoods in my town, maybe it would give me some ideas. But I let the plan slip from my mind and the day passed like any other day. And the next and the next went by.
Then four days later the idea to walk and pray was overwhelming, so I got my tennis shoes on and off I went, wondering what in the world was going on.
Just one block away, I was crossing from one corner to the next when I saw two tiny kids. One was on a trike and the other on a scooter. They were maybe 2 or 3 years old. They were heading as fast as their little legs could take them, toward the main road on the other side of me. They were laughing and looking behind them at a very upset 7 year old who was yelling for them to stop. They thought it was all very funny.
A white van was approaching all of us and I do not think those kids planned to stop, so I grabbed one kid as he headed in front of the van and I remember wondering if the van was going to hit me. Seeing me grab one kid, shocked the other one and she stopped and stared at me. The white van stopped too and then the driver shook her head in relief and continued down the road.
The older child came up yelling at the little ones to go back to the house and I turned the scooter-kid in the right direction and continued on my walk to the next block.
It all happened so fast that it took me a few minutes to realize what had just occurred. It sunk in that I may have just saved a couple of lives! My next thought was that "Poor God", had to begin talking to me about something on a Tuesday in order to get me in the right place on a Friday.
But today, as I looked at my journal account of this week-long conversation with God, I am chuckling at my "listening skills".
Yes, I was "hearing" God. But I was mistakenly translating his words into "christianese" or "church-speak", when He was speaking very LITERALLY. Go back up a few paragraphs and look at the underlined words. That is what I was hearing, but I translated them into my version, my church-life version of the words. I was picturing some kind of "outreach event" or ministry that "touched" lives.
"outreach...help...step outside my house.....really touch."
This is hilarious to me. God had given me very specific directions and yes, I obeyed them at the right time and the correct place. But I had no idea that I was doing exactly what He wanted! I wonder if God often finds Himself telling us to do something very specific and we gum it all up with our complicated symbolism and church-speak instead of just doing what He said to do.
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