the ripple effect
He doesn’t know her name. But he will never forget her.
Did she pray that morning for an opportunity to bless a perfect stranger? Or is she typically so caring towards those she doesn’t know? I can’t say, but I’m so thankful and in awe of the way God answers prayer. She didn’t know his name either—but I call him Dad.
My mother went away to Heaven just two months ago, and he has been grieving deeply for her. I’ve been very concerned for him, for his health, and for his broken heart. I’ve been praying—praying for the Holy Spirit to comfort my dad and give him a vision of how loved and treasured he is.
Late one afternoon just before Christmas, I realized that I’d missed several calls from my dad. Just as I was about to return his call, he called again. My dad doesn’t typically call unless it’s very important, so I was immediately concerned. Our conversations are mostly done through texting (even if we’re in the same room) since my dad is almost deaf. But as soon as I answered, I could hear the lilt in his voice as he excitedly shared the most fantastic thing that happened to him that morning!
He began telling me about a woman he met in the grocery store. Honestly, my first thought was, “Oh golly, isn’t this a little soon?” But I listened as he quickly shared the details…
They were reaching for frozen taquitos at the same time. They laughed and began a simple conversation by agreeing that they both needed to eat better! Sensing my dad’s need to talk, she politely asked a few more generic questions. Before long, my sweet little dad began to pour out his grieving heart—right there in the frozen section of the grocery store.
In compassion, she listened and spoke with my dad even as they went through the checkout line! She continued with him as they walked through the parking lot. When he reached his car, Dad grabbed his phone to show this kind woman photos of my mom. She commented on how very beautiful she was. (And yes, my mom was very beautiful!) Then she prayed with my dad. Who takes time to do that?
We’re always so busy, aren’t we? Especially through the holidays. We get so busy “doing” that we miss the opportunities of “being” His hands and feet…and ears.
God uses the simplest of kind actions to do some of His deepest work.
If that young woman had been too busy to listen to the Holy Spirit, she would have missed reaching out to my dad’s desperately hurting heart. But she lifted his heart, she made him smile and even laugh. I’m sure she has no idea how her kindness, one busy day in December, impacted his heart—mine too! She made me cry with happiness and real joy! The ripple effect remains.
Let us slow down and open our eyes and our ears. Stay off our phones while we’re running errands so that we can be attentive to Divine opportunities. People all around us are hurting. The potential is unlimited! We may be inconvenienced for a few minutes or even thirty… but oh, it’s so worth it!
“So, as those who have been chosen of God, holy and beloved, put on a heart of compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience” (Colossians 3:12).