A visit to a local hardware store chain doesn’t go as I planned. I was going to stop at another branch of that store chain but “I” decided to stop at another one instead. I got my box of tile grout, and then a thought popped into my head that I needed to pick up some furnace filters. So, with my box of grout under my arm, I went to the aisle where the furnace filters were. I set the box down and perused the selections. The aisle had three store employees and several other customers shopping for items located in that aisle. A lady employee closest to me looked at me and asked if she could help me find anything. I said that I was just getting furnace filters. I asked her how she was doing, and she said the customary, polite, and non-provocative “fine”.
But in her eyes, I felt she was carrying a heavy burden of some sort. My spiritual antenna was in full alert at that moment, and I asked her the same question differently. I responded, “good”; but then paused for a second and asked her in a low, quiet tone, “But how are you really doing?” She started tearing up. She apologized for that, wiping her eyes hurriedly; looking around to see if others noticed. I calmly walked over to her, and asked if I could pray for her.
At that point, she was quietly weeping, and said her husband of 26 years had died just a few months earlier, and she was really struggling with facing her first Christmas without him. I reached over and put my arm on her shoulder, and asked if I could pray for her right then. She said yes, please.
During the prayer, the Lord gave me words to comfort her with, and thoughts of how The Lord would deal with the precise loss of a spouse. In my mind, I had all the wrong words, but let the Holy Spirit control the prayer. At then end of the prayer, she have me a warm hug, and thanked me for that. We talked for a few more moments where I also asked her about her home church, and she told me how they had supported her though the grief and loss.
I came away from that, realizing that God directs out thoughts, our paths, and our directions to touch lives. Imagine, going to a store I hadn’t planned on, and getting what I hadn’t planned on, and getting to touch a soul who may have prayed for someone to come by and show her that her faith was not in vain. Who orchestrates like that? Who has the power to fulfill the basic needs of acceptance and survival? Jesus, the Christ does!
The absolute remarkable thing about that day, was I went directly from that hardware store to a major food store to pick up a few groceries, and the same thing occurred. In an aisle, in a conversation with a store employee about what happened at the hardware store, and the food store employee began sobbing right there because she had lost her husband just a few months ago! So, I prayed with that person, as well. Both lives were touched, not by a person who happened to coincidently appear, but touched by a prayer spoken in the name of Jesus Christ, who is the Great Physician and has the ability to heal all wounds. Those people who need to be touched are EVERYWHERE. Allow your awareness to be on full alert as your make your daily travels. It can take so little time to change a person’s life. But it can make so big of a difference.
“Lord, thank You for using the holy Spirit to prompt us in our daily proclivities, to put people in our paths that need a fresh touch from Your greatness, and for guiding our words and actions to add to the purposeful life that You allow us to have. Make us productive in ways to change people’s lives. We pray in Jesus’ Name, Amen.”