(This is a true experience that happened 29 years ago.)
"I KNOW GOD SENT YOU"
My day started out rather ordinary, but it didn’t take long for me to realize it would be no ordinary day.
As I began the usual morning routine of finding lost shoes, school books, and making breakfast for my three grade-school children, I began to have a sense that someone needed my help.
I had never experienced such a “knowing” before, but while I could not understand it, I also could not deny the strong sensation that someone was in trouble, and needed me.
With the kids off to school, I began part two of my morning routine. I picked up stray clothes, made beds and loaded the dishwasher, and as I went thorough the house I prayed, “Lord, someone needs me! I don’t know who, I don’t know why, and I don't know where, but, please send me to them.”
I became more absorbed in my chores, and as the morning slipped away, it was as though the experience never happened.
By mid-afternoon, I remembered an errand I needed to take care of across town. “I’ll take a short-cut and avoid the traffic”, I reasoned, as I drove down Park Blvd. Soon, my eyes were drawn to a huge, brown-shingled house.
“Hmmm. I’m pretty sure that’s where Mrs. Large lives,” I said out-loud in the silence of my car. “I think I’ll stop and visit with her on my way back across town. She seems like such a nice lady.”
Mrs. Large was a widow I had recently met at church. A mutual friend who introduced us, had shared with me of how the elderly woman's youngest daughter and son-in-law had died in a house fire, six months prior.
With my errand taken care of, I remembered my plan to stop and visit with her. I turned the car into her drive, got out and walked toward her front porch.
The moment my foot touched the first step I remembered my “inner knowing” experience, earlier in the day. A shiver ran through me as I knocked on the door.
A distressed-looking Mrs. Large soon peered out at me. Through the screen door separating us, I could see she was still in her night gown, even though it was mid-afternoon; and she had been crying.
“Mrs. Large, I was driving by your house and thought I would stop and visit with you for a little while,” I offered. Silently, she held the door open for me. I walked inside and before any further words were spoken, we hugged.
Mrs. Large rather tearfully said, “I know God sent you to me today.” Another shiver ran it’s course through my body as she led me into her shaded, curtain-drawn living room.
As my eyes made their adjustment to the darkened room, I felt as though I were on a secret mission for God. Without hesitation Mrs. Large began to tell me about the tragic death of her daughter and son-in-law.
As I listened to her story, I began to understand: God had sent me to comfort this grieving mother. A quick, silent prayer for the right words went up to heaven.
Each time I attempted to speak, however, Mrs. Large would say tearfully, “Oh, I know God sent you to me today, because you
understand my pain.”
Interestingly enough, I did know something of grief and sorrow. My younger brother, John, and three of his friends were killed in a train-van collision three years earlier, and I was still learning how to process the pain in my own wounded heart.
Yet God had sent me to speak comforting words to Mrs. Large. Surely He would give me an opportunity to say them.
But Mrs. Large was “on a roll.” The grief locked away in her heart came gushing out like a water-fall, and she was not about to stop talking, and talking, and talking.
“Lord,” I cried inwardly, “You sent me here because she needed encouragement. How can I encourage her when she won’t let me
I was beyond frustration. I decided to just sit back and let her talk. The visit was out of my control. I didn’t know what
was going on, but it was obvious I was party to a one-way conversation.
As I sat there, I began to watch in amazement as Mrs. Large’s countenance began to change. The weariness was leaving her face. The more she talked the stronger she seemed. And every so often she would stop and exclaim, "I know God sent you to me today."
Even in the shadowy room, I could detect a look of hope in her eyes. Could this be the same woman who opened the door for me a couple of hours earlier?
Finally, she was winding down, and I told her, “Mrs. Large, it sure has been nice visiting with you today, but I need to be home when my children get out of school.”
She walked me to the door, and before I knew what was happening, she reached out and pulled me into her arms. She joyfully exclaimed, again, “I know God sent you to me today!’
As I walked off her porch and down the steps, I chuckled inside, as I thought, “Oh, Mrs. Large, you are so right! But He had much more in mind than I could have imagined!”
In the car, again, I shook my head in wonder, and said, “Thank you, God, for sending me to Mrs. Large in her time of need.”
In that one visit I learned that while there are times the Lord may send me with encouraging words for another, there will be times when no words are needed. All that’s required is a willing heart and a listening ear.
I learned something else that day, too.
There are no 'ordinary' days in this wonderful adventure of life with God.
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