**(I shared this post in our monthly Pastor's Wives' Newsletter. I think it's something we all face, so I wanted to share here, too.)
I began my day with a great deal of excitement. School was starting and I was gaining some freedom...some ME time! I still had one child at home, but my day was looking pretty good irregardless. I had plans for pedicures with my girlfriend and a nice lunch later. My day was completely planned out...just the way I like it! For the most part of the morning and early afternoon, I stuck to my plans. I had well-groomed toes with a nice Burgandy polish, and later enjoyed a healthy lunch, and wonderful conversation with my friend. All of it proved to be medicine to my soul...until I left the restaurant and headed home.
As I left the restaurant, I waited in a line of about six cars, where I was about 5th in line. I looked around and noticed a woman about three cars up standing in the grass holding a sign. I could only make out the word
Immediately, my "Yeah, I bet you are" attitude took over - the one where I got taken for a fool more times than I can count when I lived in Venezuela. I mean, we live in the land of opportunity in America and I have never quite been able to rationalize homelessness in this country. I really shut down my heart to the possibility that this could be legitimate. As I inched closer, a different picture took shape. In seconds my world changed. I began to pass by to turn at the stoplight at which I had been waiting, taking me face to face with a woman holding the sign, red-faced, with tears streaming uncontrollably down her face. The sign could have, instead, read
My heart broke into. I began to cry and ask God what I should do. I had to get to a gas station. I was on empty and had to make it before I ran out. I reached the gas station beside a grocery store and began to ask God if I should go in and buy groceries for this woman. I rationalized my way out of it, though. "How would she get the home?" "Where did she live?" "How did she get to where she stood by the road?" I filled up my car and headed home...leaving a woman by the road without a solution...without relief. All day, her face haunted me. All I could see were her eyes, full of tears, empty of hope. I went though my day, only to wake up the next morning knowing I had to find that lady.
I got two bags of clothes together, put them by the door to load in my car, only to leave them when I went out to run errands...MY agenda only on my mind. And now, the days have gone by and here I sit writing a story with an unhappy ending. I never found the lady.
I never again tried!
I've asked myself a thousand times why I didn't reach out to her. My past would say it was just fear, but I wasn't scared to turn around and go back. I really just didn't have the follow-through. I knew God spoke clearly to go, but I didn't have faith enough to turn around and see where His leading took me. I just didn't have the full picture!
Often times, we don't have the full picture of what it's like to walk the Jesus Way. It calls us to step out on faith. Fear may not be present in our lack of obedience, but our lack of faith to see it to an end may be. Jesus' Way calls us to step out on faith, to take an otherwise stereotypical picture of homelessness in this country and see the individual...see the pain behind the sign.
What my experience has done for me is remind me that each day God has called me to take up my cross and follow Him...follow him out of a planned out day...follow Him to turn my car around and serve...follow Him into danger.
How are you, everyday, walking the Jesus Way? Are you ready to see where His way will take you? Will you step out in faith?