Don’t Just Walk On By...
Updated: Mar 13, 2019
Loss. Small word, Big meaning. It’s the state or feeling of grief when deprived of someone or something of value. Wow, that definition can be in anything we hold dear, a job, a spouse, a parent, a friend, a home, a dream, a marriage, a child, a budget, a friendship, etc, the list goes on. We could safely say that everyone is going through grief of some kind, in some way; many deeper than others experiencing a different stage on the surface.
Why is it important to remember this? In our frustrations we see the surface but inwardly there is a story we can’t even image because we have never put on their shoes and walked a mile or two.
I was twenty something at the time of this story. I was walking with a friend around Lake Hefner in Oklahoma City. It was a beautiful summer day, but extra hot to be walking around a ten mile lake. After finishing, my friend and I decided to go to Braums and eat a fattening treat, why not, right? As we ordered by the counter, I noticed a booth available and decided to head over and save us a seat. In the corner of my eye was an elderly woman eating ice cream by herself, which definitely tugged on my heart strings. I had an inner conflict of wills, should I go over there and ask to sit by her? I was hesitant at first, but the Holy Spirit kept guiding me back to her booth. I told my friend as she was about to sit down across from me, that we were going to the booth next door. She agreed and we asked if we could join her. The lady was so happy we came over, she began to cry and with tears streaming down her face, she told us, “I’m so lonely and I really need someone to talk to.” Apparently her husband recently passed away and everything in her life changed, including eating ice cream at Braums. Visiting with her was a blessing that day. We stayed for an hour and time wasn’t an issue. I remember leaving with such confidence and gratitude that God would use me in this way. I prayed as I was leaving, “Lord, let me never miss an opportunity like this again!”
Now fast-forward two weeks later, different Braums, different day of the week. I was driving a red Chevy Cavalier, two-door coupe, stick-shift with no air conditioning and my driver’s side window was broken. My current situation was screaming no drive-thru, but being on a tight budget, fast-food was my only option. It was a Wednesday night with Pastor Ted Kersh and I didn’t want to miss any of his messages. I only had thirty minutes to get to church but I was starving. I pulled in the Braums parking lot and decided to dine-in. After finding a booth and cramming my food down, I stood up and began to put my trash in the bin closest to the door. As I finished dumping my tray, I turned to the door and felt a tight grip around my left arm, right below my elbow. As I looked down to my side there was an elderly lady looking back at me with tears in her eyes as she said, “I’m so lonely, and I really need someone to talk to.” Well, let’s just say I was blown away. All I remember after hearing this was throwing my purse down on the other side of her booth and talking to her for hours. Her husband recently passed away as well. What were the odds? God definitely prepared me for this encounter and sadly I could have missed it.
I have learned many life lessons at Braums, especially the “timing principle.” Unfortunately, I would like to control that, but I can’t because life and time are controlled by His Hands.
I remember thinking that day that if I were these women, I hope that someone would stop and listen to give an ear, no matter what their timetable, no matter what their agenda. I would have hated to snub them and walked by....but sadly, I’ve snubbed and walked more times than I can count.
How many times have we missed these divine appoinments? The following scriptures outline how important it is to stay connected to the Spirit, allowing Him to lead us so we don’t miss what’s ahead. I Thessalonians 5:16-23 (ESV), says, “Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. Do not quench the Spirit.” Romans 12:15 (ESV) says, “Rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep.” Romans 15:1-2 (NLT) says, “We who are strong must be considerate of those who are sensitive about things like this. We must not just please ourselves. We should help others do what is right and build them up in the Lord.”
If we aren’t sensitive to the Holy Spirit and daily pursuing Christ, we will miss many opportunities just like these. God can use us in healing and giving Hope to the hopeless at any time, at any place, if we are willing. Grief is real and experienced daily in lives all around us. Let’s not miss this and just walk on by....may we as believers dwell and live in the Spirit!
As always, I’m learning right there with ya.
Thankful For His Grace,