In Which We Do What We Can, But God Does The Rest
Monday afternoon, I heard something that, at the time, seemed very peculiar.
My sister, who had been playing outside, ran in and informed me that there was a lady standing outside asking for water.
Of all the thoughts that ran through my head, the most prominent was, "But we don't have bottled water!"
My mom happened to be taking a nap, so I went outside, and there was a lady, maybe about thirty, with a fourteen-month-old baby boy in a stroller. She told me she was dehydrated and just needed some water. I grabbed her a plastic cup (she didn't mind that we didn't have bottles) and thanked me eagerly.
But then, she asked me if I had a microwave.
I responded positively.
She asked me if I could warm up her lunch for her and her baby. She handed me a bag holding two BigMacs. I hesitantly took the bag and headed back inside.
As the microwave purred, I wondered where this lady had come from, and how far she had walked. How was she was so dehydrated and hungry that she couldn't make it back home without asking strangers for help?
I headed back outside and handed her the sandwiches. I asked her where she lived, trying to make conversation.
She looked at her feet and just said simply, "We're homeless."
And it all made sense. I felt dumb, not having thought of that before. I felt concerned, looking at her baby sitting calmly in his stroller, his shirt soaked from the water cup because he did not know how to drink out of it yet. And I felt terrible, because I had asked. I managed to say something along the lines of "I'm so sorry."
Then I came to my senses. They were homeless. Everything they owned was sitting in the bottom of that stroller. They must need food. She stated that someone had given her the BigMacs, so they must not have much money, if any. I asked if they needed anything, and she said, "We need somewhere to stay."
And fifteen minutes later, I'd sent her on her way, holding two bags filled with a couple PB&Js, three apples, many pouches of baby food, a ten dollar bill, the address of the shelter a few blocks down, our church's phone number, and more cold water.
I don't know where she is. I don't know if she was accepted to the shelter. I don't know if she will call our church's number. But she's been haunting me.
Earlier, while doing schoolwork, I couldn't stop thinking about her. I could have given her more. I didn't have an extra Bible on hand to give her, but I could have hunted one down. Were they sleeping on the streets? If so, did she need blankets? The baby must be cold. We have blankets, baskets of them that we could never use all at once. Did her little boy have anything to play with, or did he sit in that stroller day in, day out?
What more could I have done?
And then, God whispered, very clearly, "I will do the rest."
And I know he will.
We gave her food, we gave her directions. God will direct her there.
I don't know if she got to the shelter, but he does. I don't know if her baby had enough to eat today, but he does. I don't know if anyone will give her water when she's dehydrated. But I can pray to the one that does know. And he will watch over her, with his good plan in mind.
Praise be to the One who knows.
Friends, always remember that God knows. Even when things seem hopeless, he will whisper, "Child, I know. I'm watching." We are called to give to the poor and the needy. But we're also told that they are blessed, that theirs is the kingdom of heaven. We're not supposed to save the world from poverty! We're supposed to bless one person at a time, through Jesus Christ.
That's what I did, Lord willing. Now I wait. Because I know he'll do the rest.
how can we choose to bless others on a daily basis? how are you learning to let the Lord do the work you can't?