We pray before every meal, we pray before bed time, we pray at church and at school and yes, I pray at work. We pray all the time. Occasionally one of us prays and it catches me off guard.
Tonight was one such night. My daughter is an expert prayer. I am convinced this is a gifting. She never hesitates to bow her head and lead the family in a thoughtful, heartwarming prayer to God giving Him thanks and praises... Asking for his blessings.
My son isn't so intune with his sister. Usually finding him taking a bite before his hands are folded and he'll give a sly smile when caught. Tonight was a different story. Tonight his prayer made me pause, look up and over at my son to see if he was indeed speaking. And with his hands together and his fingers crossed, head bowed down he spoke the most honest prayer... A prayer I would never think to pray and it touched me deeply.
Thank you for this day and the day that you made. Thank you for this dinner, may you bless it to our bodies. I pray for all those sick or hurting tonight. I pray for those Christians in other places that are being hurt. I pray for those hurting the Christians, I hope they get to know you. Amen.
The conversation was then filled with play date schedules and Clone Wars trivia. My daughter wanted to practice for her test tomorrow and watch a family movie before bed time.
I remained in awe of his wee little, mighty prayer. Wow! Faith like a child...
I don't want to pray for those who hurt Christians or deplorable acts for shock and awe value - to provoke fear.
We don't have a news channel... He doesn't see these things - he cannot imagine and I am grateful. He does, however, know enough from adult conversations to evidently get the jest and he takes that to pray for those who will be separated from God. My son understands that we must pray for all people, we must reach all people - that's what we're commanded to do. My son is 7 and teaching me new things every day.
And he said: "Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.
Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.
"A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another.
I've digressed, back to the moment at the gas station. I needed to fill up. I go through all the motions of buying gas... debit card, pin number, gas selection, gas cap off... nozzle... filling up.... Justin approaches. He's kind and clean. The conversational exchange is polite and soft spoken. He asks, "Could you spare some gas?" He is holding a small red gas can. I am used to being approached for money, or food. I am used to dirty and uncomfortable conversations. This also isn't a neighborhood one would associate with pan-handeling. Do you see all the stuck up thoughts I have had in this one moment?
I am definitely caught off guard. Then like a scene from Criminal Minds, I go scary and think... am I going to be abducted... I almost chuckle now. Nudged back into the moment from the crazy thought I hear quietly whispered, "You can take care of this need, it's not like he's asking for cash.". "Yes" I say. "I can fill up your can." and I do. That's when we have awkward conversation for a few minutes and I find out his name is Justin. He asks mine as well and I tell him. I look at him and say, "I do this for you because I believe in Jesus and He commands me to be his hands and feet." Justin says, "Yes, and I thank you." I top him off and we part ways.
I spent $5.62 to help someone in need... I don't know the reason for the moment or why he had a need. I don't know why time moved so slow. A lesson for me which just makes me pause.
Hesitate. I hate hesitating. I hate considering the selfish thoughts of why, or how, or what could "he" "they" "she" do differently. The thought that runs through my head, "I have a job", "we work hard", "we sacrifice", "we watch our money". As if I am better somehow. I know, people don't intend to go to that place... of homelessness, of job-loss. I know how quickly it can happen. Life happens and money becomes an issue... health issues that drain the wallet, making it impossible to work or lay-offs in a down economy and a year or better without work.
I know because I have been there... in my childhood, heck, just a few years ago when my own husband lost his job and we went through months of savings just to make ends meet while a job took more than 7 months to come. We still haven't recovered completely.
The better yes! I want to be better at yes, I want to be better at being God's hands and feet. I want to think less about what "yes" costs me and more about the blessing it could be to someone else.
My son, with faith like a child... if only people could see our Jesus... they'd be changed.
If only people could see yes with a happy heart and a smile from someone who cares, maybe they'd be changed. If only I could open up my hands and heart long enough to see people. I saw Justin... I saw his need and, after my mind argued through the rational, I filled it for him with a happy heart.
Thank you for this week. Thank you for the wonderful days you made. Thank you for your blessings. Thank you for your provision. Thank you for all the wonderful life you have made. The awesomeness of your creation, the heavens and the earth, the mountains and the clear sky. The desert floor and the coming fall. Lord, I thank you for your lessons. The loving way you show yourself to me, through my son... and within the mundane of daily chores you provide ways to be your hands and feet on this earth. I thank you for Justin. I thank you for the opportunity to change my heart for him. Lord, I ask you to watch over him, where ever he is... Thank you for the blessings in my life Lord, thank you for helping me to never take them for granted. Amen