I heard this said recently, and I think it is true, that as Christ-followers sometimes we are so hung up on experiencing a spectacular moment in our lives, that we miss out on the supernatural moments of every day.
I want to tell you about my friend Meagan. We met not even 3 weeks ago. I was killing time at a nearby park while someone was viewing our home that is for sale. I had my dog and my 3 girls with me. As my older girls were playing I noticed a girl alone on a bench smoking a cigarette. I had that quickening in my spirit immediately...you know, that feeling, that nudging, that prompting to act. If I am being honest, I will tell you that I didn't feel like meeting anybody. It was hot. I was bogged down by an unruly dog, a stroller, bags, a mint plant I just bought at the farmers market, and the responsibility of making sure my older girls were safe playing. I wanted to just sit there quietly and pass time until I could return home. But thank God for that quickening.
Awkwardly I inched closer to her, sort of pretending my dog was wanting to see her. As I got closer, she got more and more interested in her phone, even turning away from where I was slowly approaching. Making it even easier to get her attention, I noticed she had ear buds in. Great. Should I dance or something? (Let me remind you I had no idea what I was even going to say once I did get her attention.) Ok, so I got as close as I could without being totally creepy and I gave an awkward smile/wave/raised eyebrows to show I was interested in conversation. She took her ear buds out. I said hello, and it took no time at all to begin making small talk. Next thing you know, my girls and I are hunched over her phone looking at pictures of her pet rats.
I was clinging to anything that could lead to something of significance. Remembering that God says not to worry about what to say, that he has it covered. Remembering that we will overcome by the blood of the Lamb and the word of our testimony. I saw a tattoo resembling something religious and took the open door to ask her about it. I shared the briefest version of my testimony and told her that God loves her and knows what she is going through (I had no clarity that that would mean anything, but I knew that it was at least true!). She told me she knows about God, goes to church sometimes, but feels judged by people. I offered to pray for her, asking if there was anything specific she needed. She played it off at first like everything was fine. But then let me know she was actually sitting on that bench trying to figure out what to do next because she had just lost her housing. I didn't know what to do. Or say. I prayed because I said I would. I am not exactly sure what I prayed, I think I thanked God for his goodness and love (you know, the basic things that, again, are true so I figured they were probably relevant.). I gave her my cell #, assured her God would take care of her, asked her to text me if she couldn't find anywhere to go, offered her the $10 I had left over from the farmers market (she declined). And I left her there in the park.
When I got home I talked to a friend about it. I was pumped to have gotten the chance to reach out to someone. But I was filled with all kinds of doubt and insecurity. Did I say anything of value to her? She didn't have anywhere to stay, wouldn't the obvious helpful thing be to bring her home? I should have just handed her the money, not asked her if she needed it. What did I even pray? Did I fail? My friend simply told me to trust the Holy Spirit to do the work. So I prayed that God would move above and beyond anything I did (or didn't do) for Meagan.
Days passed and I didn't hear from her, so I thought that was probably the end of that. Of course it wasn't, or this would be a lame story.
So, a few days ago I re-watched a message I love by a pastor I love to listen to (http://thecity.org/message/a_problem_called_praise). And I remembered Meagan and remembered that she told me where she works. And I told myself I should write her a note and drop it by sometime this week. I did that yesterday. I wrote a short note, wrote some scripture verses and had the girls color her a picture. She wasn't working when I dropped it off, but I was told that if they could get the envelope to her they would. I walked away knowing I did all I could and told God (as if he needed a reminder) that he would have to do the rest. Within a half an hour I noticed a text message from Meagan. She thanked me for the card and asked me if I knew what happened to her. I told her I didn't. She told me how I was there for her that day at the park and then after having a crazy week she gets my card and she thinks maybe I'm her guardian angel. I let her know it is all God, that he put her on my heart. I asked about her crazy week. She goes on to explain how she overdosed this past week and was saved when someone called an ambulance. She said she prayed to God in that moment to help her if it wasn't her time to go. She said he did help her, and then when she got home she received my card with the scripture verses telling her everything she needed to hear-that she was made for more, has a greater purpose, and that she is supposed to be here. Just like that. From death to LIFE.
I was moved to tears. In fact I continue to be moved to tears every time I talk about it (I've been talking about it as much as I can). Humbled by the faithfulness of our great God. How he blessed me with an opportunity to see a girl alone on a bench smoking a cigarette through his eyes. How he worked above and beyond my underwhelming prayer for her, my inability to say something really moving, my failure to give her any practical help. Meagan is his beloved daughter and he was pursuing her in that moment. It had nothing to do with me.
God is so good. He is alive. He is at work and moving. He uses us when we make ourselves available. He takes the very ordinary things we do and turns them into supernatural moments. Every day is a supernatural day. I hunger and thirst for the moments when I feel that quickening in my spirit. I praise him ahead of time for the next story. When I think about what happened on a very ordinary day, in a very ordinary moment...new life. Hope. As Meagan put it, moving forward. I guess it turned out pretty spectacular after all.