I saw a man at the intersection with a cardboard sign asking for help. I was in the wrong lane and wasn't sure what I wanted to do if I was IN the right lane. So I did my next errand and prayed a bit and then decided to get him a gift card from Wendy's. Unfortunately by the time I got the card and got back to the intersection, the man was nowhere to be found...so I tucked it in my purse.
Yesterday, I knew I'd be out shopping and remembered that card in my purse and said a prayer that God would show me the right person to give it to. Inside the holder of the card I had written: "God knows and he cares and I'll be praying for you today." Sure enough, there was a man at an intersection holding a cardboard sign asking for help and this time I WAS in the right lane. I quickly opened my window (the light was green so I wasn't stopped) and handed him the gift card. He smiled and said, "God bless you!!"
I don't know what I thought he would look like, but he looked like somebody's sweet grandpa. His eyes were kind and his face was sweet. I think it'll be quite sometime before I forget him. And I made good on my promise to pray.
That night, we took the Youth Group kids from church to a county jail to pray for the inmates. Those interested wrote out requests for us to pray over. Our hearts just broke for the pain in those requests.
I don't know what I thought they would sound like, but most of the requests were not even for the inmates themselves but for their children and wives and other children of inmates. And there was mourning and regret...and need for redemption...and a leaning on Jesus...and a hope for forgiveness. Didn't we all need a second chance when God reached down in love to us? Haven't we all disappointed someone and needed forgiveness? Don't we all have areas we need to change but are helpless unless God does the changing?
Yesterday was also a celebration day of another sort of "day in court". We celebrated one year since our adoption of our 4 younger children was finalized!! It was exciting to be sure!! We went to our favorite Chinese buffet and just enjoyed being together.
Yesterday was a crazy, hectic day. And yesterday was life changing.
Which brings me to my "Word for 2014". Remember last year I chose "Steadfast?" This year's word actually goes well with last year's...
I want to love like God. His love is STEADFAST! It's not just the cute cuddly love, it's the "meet you in the trenches and gut it out and I know it's messy but we're gonna get through this together" kind of love. It's the "I know you've blown up your life but I am going to stay with you and suffer with you and help you up and out" kind of love. It's a merciful kind of love. It's the kind of love that doesn't have a Hallmark card. I want that. I'm asking for that. I don't have it if God doesn't give it to me.
"The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness." Lamentations 3:22-23