Monday, March 30, 2009

Lord, give me a servant's heart

Craftie Ladies of Suspense Post

Since I’ve already posted my March madness story, I thought I would do something a little different today.

As I debated about what to write, God laid something on my heart that I thought I would share. One afternoon, my mom and dad had come to see my childrens' piano recital. Before they made the drive home, we stopped at a McDonald’s to chat, grab a snack and let the kids play a little. For various reasons, I was not in the best of moods, but was getting over it as I talked with my family.

A short time later, a bedraggled, rough looking woman approached our table. My daughter kicked me under the table and nodded to the woman standing there waiting to be acknowledged. My bad mood returned. I was really quite irritated at the interruption, but I smiled and asked her if I could help her.

She said, “Can I use your phone?”

My mind went blank. Use my phone? Just hand over my phone to a woman I don’t know and who may very well shove it in her pocket and walk out the door? I didn’t think so.

“I’m sorry, I don’t let people use my phone,” I replied.

She nodded. “Oh, okay.” And wandered off.

Oh, the conviction! What had I just done? If I were a character in one of my books, my readers would have hated me! Surely I could have offered to dial the number for her and talk to whoever she wanted to contact. I didn’t have to hand over the phone. When I pray for an opportunity to be a blessing to someone else, I’d better be prepared for God to answer! It’s quite possible He sent this woman to my table for a reason.

I just sat there a moment, arguing with God. “God, you have to be careful these days. There are some crazy and mean people out there.” (And as a suspense writer, with a suspense writer imagination, you wouldn’t believe some of the things going through my mind at that moment.) And it’s true you have to be cautious, but finally, I just couldn’t stand it anymore.

I apologized to the Lord and hurried to find the woman…only to find that my dad was already there dialing the number for her. She did keep trying to take the phone from him and he just kept saying, “I’ll dial the number.” And he patiently dialed each number she gave him. And each number he dialed was disconnected. So, we’ll never really know what she needed as she finally gave up and left the restaurant, but I was humbled and ashamed by my initial reaction to having my life interrupted.

And I prayed God would give me more opportunities to do the right thing. To help people who need it. After all, that’s why we’re here, right? To minister and be of service to others. To be like Jesus who hung out (and still hangs) with the “undesirables” and loves the “unlovable”. I’m so glad God doesn’t turn me away when I approach his “table”, but instead welcomes me with open arms, gladly offering to help in any way I need it. But, I’m especially glad He forgives and gives second chances!

I pray your coming week is filled with excitement, opportunities to help those less fortunate, second chances, forgiveness and love. Not to mention TONS of exceptional reading from the Craftie Ladies of Suspense!


PamelaTracy said...

Wow, we've all been there. I probably would have reacted just like you. It's a circle. No doubt your dad did what my dad did: Don't talk to strangers. Yikes.

EllenToo said...

I really think with all the bad things going on today I would have done the same (assuming I had my phone with me which I seldom do).But is a lesson we could all learn.

Abi said...

What a thought-provoking post.

jeaneintexas said...

I could see me reacting the same
way. There is much danger now
in talking to some strangers. I
hope that after reading this & thinking about what your dad did,
that I will try to find ways to
help & yet be careful at the same
time. Thank you for writing a
piece to make us think.

Edna said...

I love you Crafty ladies. I sure would love to win the four books that are being given away in April, have just started to read the suspense one and can't put them down.

I really read a lot at night after I read my Bible, that must come first.

May God bless all of you