I don't know how y'all's day has gone so far, but lemme tell you about mine.
This morning, like most mornings, I sparred with Red and was outnegotiated by the Captain. Nothing new. The Pirates got on the school bus and went on their merry way. Done with being a stay at home Mom for t-minus 8 hours.
I took a shower and heard someone banging at the door. At 0800. Seriously? Hmmm. Got out of the shower, and no one was at the door. I opened the door and.....a very large box had arrived bearing Christmas gifts from West Virginia. Wow. Now that was nice. Awesome! Thank you!
Then I met up with a very dear friend, and prayed and broke bread after not seeing each other for a very long time. And God was the prime topic at breakfast. Said our goodbyes and off we went about our merry ways.
Went to my super awesome Doctor's office to pick up a form for the
I got my form, and I headed on to my next stop.
Where Shopping Is A Pleasure.
God told me to take a RIGHT turn.
And I did.
Before I knew it, I was sitting in the administrative offices of the new church we have been attending and will soon become formal members of. I had no idea why I was there. Honestly. No clue. I just felt COMPELLED......CALLED TO ACTION.....
This church is a Mega church. 3,000 people go there. They have like 8 million pastors or something. 10% of our city goes there. It's big. It's even on TV. It's big, but it's real. And we have wondered, are we going to be just another 'number' here? Or will we BE ABLE to MATTER?
So I'm sitting on this leather couch talking to a woman I don't even know, and she is trying to assess my NEEDS. I insisted I had none. Really. I mean, we're good. We're awesome. We're on fire for Jesus right now. Big changes in our lives. Big. Radical. But RIGHT.
So she keeps talking to me, quizzically. I told her it would take me 20 years to share my 42 years of life with her, but hey, I'm writing a book, and you can read about it then. It will be finished soon. But I gave her a few clues. Been here, done this. Been there, done that. Have this, don't have that. God said this, God told me that.
She asks me if I'm interested in being a prayer helper at the end of each service, offering prayers to people in need.
I knew that wasn't it.
And I told her so.
Nope. That's not what God wants me to do.
She pondered that perhaps it wasn't yet time for me to act. Perhaps I was still in a season of listening.
I'm here, Lady. I don't know why, but there's like a whole bunch of people in this building and we gotta get it figured out RIGHT NOW. Because.....in my 'old' church....well, I used to be able to hit "Pastor" on speed dial and oh, he knew who I was, what I needed, what I was offering, whatever. And I've had more than one Pastor. And they are STILL on my speed dial, thank you very much. As are their wives. But I digress.
I needed to know, that even though we are committing to a church of gargantuan proportions, that we would MATTER. But I didn't mean, like, on the receiving end.
I said to her, "I don't think I'm here for ME. I think I'm here TO SHARE."
Listen, I know that probably 100% of you think I'm on the crazy train most, if not ALL of the time, but GOD SPEAKS TO ME. I have shared this before, and I am telling you right now, HE SPEAKS TO ME. I hear Him. I see Him. I feel Him. Through visions. Through dreams. Through goosebumps. Through the discernment of good or evil. I just KNOW. Ask Two Swords. He can tell you. Or my former pastors. They can tell you. Or some of my friends. They can tell you.
So I'm trying to tell this stranger, who is a perfectly fine, polite, nice, caring woman, "Listen Lady, I'm sure that like eleventy people an hour come in here and tell you that God speaks to them and they need to talk to somebody, but no, I don't need any money, and no, I don't need a frozen turkey but thank you so much for offering, and no, I'm not delusional, but I am SERIOUS."
She starts quoting Jeremiah.
And I listen. Admittedly, I am not familiar with Jeremiah. But I will be soon. Trust me. As soon as I finish up with the business of James, I'm headed for Jeremiah.
She asks me if I looked at the life groups on line.
I told her that I had, but nothing really popped out at me.
And then she asked me...."What about our Real FREEDOM group?"
I have no idea what she is talking about.
But God most certainly did.
I told her I didn't see it on the group list.
She said, "That's because it's under SUPPORT."
I said, "But I wasn't NEEDING support, so I didn't GO THERE."
And she puts her hand on my head as if I'm an imp and says, "You are so silly! You are meant to GIVE the SUPPORT!"
And it clicked.
That's exactly where I am supposed to be.
And 5 or 6 others.
They meet all at one time, have praise and worship for 15 minutes, then break into their respective groups.
I'm meant to be there to....COUNSEL. To....SUPPORT. To....EMPATHIZE. To....GUIDE.
All the things I am really, really, really, REALLY good at.
Okay Lady, so...I can't make this commitment right now, because my husband is leaving for South Carolina for two months and I'm about to become a single mom four days a week and then I will have to drive my kids six hours each way every weekend........
"The group meets on Tuesday nights."
TODAY IS TUESDAY.
Got it, God. I understand. I know why you brought me here. And I know where I am supposed to be at 7pm tonight. Even though it's the finale of The Voice, I can DVR it. Seriously, I can do that.
I thought that was ALL that God had in store for me for the day.
Off I go to my original destination.
Where Shopping Is a Pleasure.
Always a Pleasure.
I'm just wandering around, picking up random items. Not the usual way I shop. I usually have a list.
I wander to the meat market.
And the Meat Man offers to help, as usual.
I said, "Yeah, can you tell me what to fix for dinner, because, seriously, UGH, I'm so TIRED of deciding what my family will eat every night."
And he did. And I was like, "Huh." Okay. Yeah. I'll try that. If the Captain doesn't like it, Off With His Head! He can walk the plank. Don't care.
Then I'm at the checkout register.
A man with special needs is my bagger today. He bags my items PERFECTLY. He does not struggle. He takes his time. But I have time. Lots of it. I'm good.
He finishes, the cashier finishes, and I'm headed out the door.
God told me to take another RIGHT turn.
I went to the service desk.
A young lady asked if she could help me, very pleasantly, I might add.
I said, "Who do I talk to if I want to say THANK YOU?"
She said, "Huh?"
I said, "I want to say Thank You."
She said, (because I'm certain she's not used to hearing something this radical), "Ummm....for.....what?"
I said, "For making shopping a PLEASURE."
She looked at me like the Church Lady did. Like I had a third eyeball.
She went and got the manager.
She must have told him I was a nutjob, cuz he looked at me the same way.
I stuck my RIGHT hand out, and said my name and said, "I want to tell you this because I'm sure you are not hearing it very much, especially this time of year, but you should. I have been shopping at this store, 2-3 times a week since the day it opened ELEVEN years ago, and I have NEVER EVER EVER had a bad experience, from top to bottom. And I want to THANK YOU for making shopping a PLEASURE."
And the Manager lit up like a Christmas tree, pardon the pun.
And he needed to hear that today. Don't know why. None of my business. Don't know what fire he was fighting before the Nutjob Lady with the Third Eyeball appeared, but he needed it. And God knew it. That's why He sent me.
And he was gracious.
And then I said, "And one more thing. I am disabled. I want to THANK YOU for hiring people who have special needs."
And he lit up even brighter.
And he said, "THAT is OUR pleasure."
And I wished him a Merry Christmas.
And he stopped me and said, "Do you need help out with your groceries?"
And I said, "No thank you. Not TODAY."
And off I went.
To my next destination.
God told me to put my grocery cart back.
I had to make another RIGHT turn.
ASIDE: As a NASCAR fan, and as a whackjob RIGHT wing Republican, this irony is not lost on me, I promise you.
An older lady was right next to me, putting her cart back.
She said, "It is sooooo nice to see YOUNG people putting their carts back."
Thanks for that, but I'm not so young.
I said, "You know, my PASTOR once told us that we should always put our carts back. Sometimes I take it all the way into the store, and sometimes I put it in the corral, but, yeah, we always put them back. In fact, my kids actually fight sometimes over who gets to put the cart back."
And she opined, "If only more people in this world could be like US."
And I said, "You know what? Perhaps they will. Perhaps they will CHANGE. Perhaps we just need to be examples for them."
And she said, "I hope you are right."
And I wished her a MERRY CHRISTMAS. And she returned it.
And then I headed to my next destination.
Not another right turn.
Across the street.
I saw a cross on the wall at the front desk.
You don't see THAT everyday.
Signed in, wrote my check, waited my turn.
And then the
And I sat down.
And I looked to my RIGHT.
On the wall.
I said, "Did YOU do that, or did THEY do that?"
She said, "Me and the other gal did it."
I said, "Wow. You don't see THAT everyday."
She said, "They are everywhere around here. Even at our corporate office."
I asked her if I could take a picture of it.
She said, "Absolutely. Just about everybody who comes in here does."
And so I did.
And here it is.
Just another sign.
On just another day.
He is there. He is here. He is everywhere. You just have to look, listen, and live. I hope and pray that someone who reads this might also be called to action today.
I most certainly was.