Saturday, March 26, 2011

Never underestimate the power of a water bottle

(I was just reminded of this writing from a couple of years ago.)

Have you ever had an argument with God?  I am ashamed to admit, my answer would have to be yes!  And unfortunately, this particular June day is a prime example.  

I started the day by running late to get my three year old princess to her parent’s day out so I could dive into the enormous list that had been leftover for two weeks.  Needless to say, my heart was not in a “God mood” at the moment.  But, it is so funny how God will meet you right at the moment you need him, whether you think you need Him at that moment or not!

After leaving the house at least fifteen minutes late, I noticed the “raggedy man” that puts business flyers on people’s doors in my neighborhood.  I had a heart twinge, but my phone rang and I soon forgot the man.  Upon arriving at Hope’s school, her teacher tells me that ‘water day’ was changed to today and since Hope was out sick on Tues, she did not get to tell me.  So, she now needed her swimsuit, towel, sunscreen, etc.  Not with any gentle spirit involved, I got back in my car and drove 10 minutes back to the house to get Hope’s necessary supplies, and again, passed the “raggedy man.”  After retrieving the necessary water gear, I got back in my car and this time, turned the radio up loud to praise and worship music to drown out the self serving thoughts that were consuming me by this point. You know, the “My day NEVER goes as planned; I am ALWAYS behind…waa-waa-waa!”  I once again passed the “raggedy man,” but this time, I turned down the radio a little because I found myself saying out loud, “Give him a water bottle?”

After delivering the water goodies to Hope’s teacher, I got back in the car, and this time God was saying very loudly, “Kim, when you get home I want you to get a water bottle and take it to the man you keep seeing.”  I start saying, out loud, “God, um, no! What would I say?”  (You know as women, we always think there would HAVE to be a conversation involved!)  As I turned onto the street that leads to my rear entry drive, THERE HE WAS!  I then found myself saying (again out loud), “Are you serious?  It’s just a water bottle! Come on, impact the Kingdom? Over a water bottle? God, if you want me to impact the Kingdom, shouldn’t I at least give him money for lunch?”  It was as if God was saying, “Good idea! Glad I thought of it!”  Then I found myself saying, “Well, I guess next you want me to invite him to church?”  God said, “Now you are getting the idea!” 

So, I literally pulled into my drive way, quickly announced to my 9 year that I would be right back ~ “I had to make a delivery for God!”  My 9 year old said, “OK.”  You know, I at least expected him to say, “Wow Mom, what are you doing?”  Oh well, so much for anyone else in my house enjoying a little drama.  Although, I do have hope for my 3 year old daughter!  Anyhow, I gathered up a cold water bottle from the fridge, cash from my “ice cream man” stash, and a card that we get each week from church to hand out to other people to invite them to come.  Imagine that God actually may have wanted me to have an opportunity to use one of these for someone other than my best friends!

As I was getting in my car, I began explaining to God, “I will do this. I don’t know what I am supposed to say (again the conversation issue worried me), but I will only do this if I come to the end of my alley and I see this “raggedy man” immediately.  Otherwise, I am so out of here!”  Do I even have to share what God did next?  Let’s just say, I didn’t even have to pull out on my street to see the man walking directly my way!  No turning back now!  I pulled up one street and parked my car.  I got out and said, “Sir.  Excuse me.” As he walked toward me, I then said with what sounded a little like nervous laryngitis, “You are going to think I’m crazy, but God told me to give you this water bottle and buy you lunch.”

I did not expect what happened next.  He took the three items from me…the water bottle filled with cool water, the money for food, and the little business card with our church’s information on it without hesitation, and looked me right in the eyes with tears and disbelief in his eyes and said, “God Bless You!”  I was speechless.  Standing in front of me was no longer the “raggedy man” that was sweaty, dirty, in soiled clothes, with dirty hair, and who definitely had less than the number of teeth that a person is meant to have.  Standing in front of me was a beautiful man that was created in God’s image. 

As I got back in my car, I watched him put the money in his wallet, look at the water bottle, and study the card regarding our church.  Then, while driving off, I rolled down my window and simply said, “God bless you and have a good day!”  I watched in my rear-view mirror, through my tears, this man, transformed in front of me, take that card and put it in his front left chest pocket and pat his pocket, as if to make sure it would not fall out.  I found myself in that moment thanking God for the delays of my morning because without them, this beautiful man would not have been put in front of me not once, not twice, not even three times, but FOUR times.  I would not have had the gift of being blessed in a way that I could never have imagined was going to happen on this very normal of mornings. 

I found out that God truly will give you the words, and courage, if you will just obey!  And it will be the perfect words, at the perfect time, in His perfect way. Even if the first words He has you say to someone are introducing yourself as a potential crazy person!  :)