May 30, 2011

A lesson from a stranger

I didn’t know her name. I had seen her around the auditorium during the morning session and now she was sitting a few chairs away from me among the other moms in the smaller room of the afternoon break-out session. She was quiet, reserved, almost imperceptible. I didn’t even know she noticed me. Our eyes had not met, we had not exchanged smiles, nods, or knowing glances. We were two strangers in a room full of women. The only thing we seemingly had in common was our choice of education for our children and our desire to learn more about the process.
I raised my hand to ask a question of the panel of experienced homeschooling moms sitting at the front of the room. I had seen the prices of the materials needed to get started, I knew how much money it may cost to get going, how much we may have to invest up front.
Money is always my faith’s weak spot.
I worry. I have been taken care of time after time, yet I worry. I have seen miracles happen in our life, but I worry. I know and worship the owner of the cattle of a thousand hills. Still I worry. Worry so much that, even though I knew God’s direction and leading, I was second-guessing. This is a good bit of money. Yes, it s an initial investment, but it is not small change. Lord, I believe but help my unbelief…again.
So I raised my hand. “Money is tight”, received many nods and murmurs of agreement. “So I want to know from you, experienced home educators in this program, what are the bare minimum materials I need to get my two little ones started next fall”. More audible agreement. A list of basics was given. I took notes. Opened the catalog. Did the math. Worried some more. Forgot to pray. Just fretted. We took a break and I called Matt. Do what you think it’s necessary, he said. He is obedient and much more faith-full.
A few minutes later I was back in my seat, convincing myself that at the end of the session I would bite the bullet, go down to the bookstore, and write the check. I would walk out with the bag of materials. My head was sure. My heart was holding on to doubt. I felt a tap on my shoulder and a bag was placed on my lap. “This is for you.” She walked away and sat back down. In the bag was the whole list. Paid for.
I sat in my chair unable to move or concentrate, misty-eyed, waiting for the long hour left to be over so I could go up to the woman with the red hair and wrap her in my arms. “Did you do this? Thank you…” What else could I say? I let my tears say the rest.  
 I was embarrassed. I had not spoken of money for this purpose. I never imagined but I guess I should know better. God hears beyond my words right into the source of the fear from where they come. He always does.
And I was humbled.
To be the recipient of such grace and compassion, to such obedience and sensitivity to the Holy Spirit was just overwhelming. She heard me say money was tight. And she heard God say do something about it. So she did. Just like that. For a stranger.
We had more in common than I had known. We were sisters with a common Father.
And I heard God loud and clear. The fact is we could front it. We could afford it. He has been that faithful but I’m just that ungrateful. He had a gentle lesson for me that afternoon and it took a stranger with a heart tuned to his to teach it to me:
You worry about money. You worry about everything. Have I ever failed you? I never will. Here, child, what is keeping you from trusting me it’s taken care of. Now obey my will and worry no more.   


Mary Jo said...

Oh wow! What a beautiful testimony to faith and belief in God... Humbling, yes, but so incredibly powerful. :)

Gaby said...

Thank you, Mary Jo. God has some crazy ways to get your attention, doesn't He?


I love this story . . . so sweet when people listen to the Holy Spirit and share when they can. And it is so fun, when I get to be the giver, too. I have been on both ends . . . they are both sweet.


Alexis said...

This is so beautiful. Thank you for posting. I have tears in my eyes! I needed to hear this.

Tanya said...

I love, love, love this story! That is just so like our God! Always providing and always reassuring us. Thank you for sharing this Gaby. :)

Joan Hall said...

Oh Gaby, I can so relate to this post. I also worry about money - although God has provided time and time again.

Thank you for visiting Reflections today.


Unknown said...

First, I'm so glad to see you at SDG today. Your words always melt my heart.

Second, I love the brilliant honesty here. I am moved. I can relate. And, it inspires me to believe...for more...for every promise.

Gaby said...

Thank you all for your kind comments and encouragement. It's kind of fun to go back and see all the ways God meets our needs, even the little ones that seem insignificant.

Bird said...

...amazing. Our God is simply amazing.

Kathleen T. Jaeger said...

Your post inspires me to write about the many ways I have been touched in the past year by such acts of kindness!

Jennifer said...

What an amazing story, Gaby. I can totally relate to the lack of faith when it comes to money, but like you, God has never failed me. He always provides.

And what a wonderful woman who was obedient to God's call! Not everyone listens....

Great post!

Michelle derusha said...

What an incredible God story, Gaby -- this made me smile and my heart sing!