Yesterday my kids and I were shopping. I was in a hurry, so I was very focused on getting what I needed so we could quickly leave.
Suddenly, the woman working there approached me and told me that it was her first day back to work after being gone for 2 weeks. Her husband had a stroke and has brain damage. She was told she had to go back to work yesterday in order to keep her job. She then apologized for telling me all of that, and she started to cry…
I was a bit stunned at first, because I had never said anything more than “Hi” to her in the past, and yet she just walked up to me and shared all of this with me. I told her that it’s totally understandable why she would be having a difficult time at work with everything going on. I told her I would pray for her husband, and she said thanks.
I felt like I should ask if she wanted to pray with me before we left the store, but I had a million reasons in my head of why she wouldn’t want to do that and why that would be awkward, etc.
I decided to ask anyhow, and she said she’d love that.
As she reached out her hand to grab a hold of mine, I started praying. She started crying again, and I realized that God had placed her in my path yesterday to show Himself to her… to love her… to show her that He sees and cares for her.
I was in such a hurry yesterday, and I could easily have not been paying attention. I could have selfishly decided that I didn’t have time to pray for her there.
God stopped me, and I’m so glad I took note and listened.
I wonder how many opportunities I have missed in the past when I was “in a hurry”.
If she wouldn’t have come directly up to me and started sharing her heart with me, I honestly don’t know if I would have noticed how distraught she was.
How valuable is it when someone actually pauses to see you and hear you?
We can rush and often not pay attention to what is going on around us. We can care for others’ hearts by stopping and listening and praying for them, even when it’s awkward.
I wonder who God will put in each of our paths for us to listen to, encourage, or pray for today? Jesus encourages others through us.