I had to go grocery shopping tonight. I say had because I was dreading it. I'd ran a couple of errands before (mistake) so at this point I was exhausted, aching, hungry and just wanted to go home, eat some coco puffs, and get in a nice hot bath.
But I'd put it off long enough and drank all the kids juice boxes. They were starting to suspect me.
As I walked through the front entrance in a hurry and in the middle of a phone conversation with my sister, I sort of saw the table where an older woman was sitting, selling San Antonio Express News subscriptions and I sort of heard her ask me if I wanted one.
I faintly smiled, said "No thanks," and kept walking.
But then I heard it "Turn around and go back."
But before I could figure out "why" I was off the phone with Vanessa and standing in front of this sweet looking, bundled up, older woman talking to me about the newspaper and how exciting it was that the weekend package now also includes Thursdays (FYI).
As she continued talking I looked at her hand to see if she had a ring on, I wondered if she had kids at home and then decided they were probably grown. I wondered why she would be out there in the cold at 7 o'clock at night.
And wondered..."Why, Lord".
I asked her a few questions about herself and her family thinking maybe I would know what she needed to hear. Maybe God would reveal something to me. Maybe he would make this easier on me?
We had a nice little conversation and I now have the SA Express News coming to my house every weekend.
And then I walked away...
Then I heard it.
"Because she needed someone to acknowledge her. To let her know she was noticed."
I didn't know why I turned around or why I went on to have the conversation that I did with this sweet woman. And I didn't know what, but there was something special about her.
God knows though and He wanted someone else to notice it also.
Tonight I'm thankful for moments like this where God uses you to Bless someone... to smile, to talk, to notice.
I'm thankful for reminders to stop and listen to that still small voice trying to direct you. It may not always be for you, but when you let Him work through you for someone else, the blessing comes to you anyway.
I don't know that I made any kind of difference in her life, I don't know what might be going on in it and I don't even know her name. But God does. And He knows what she needed in that moment.
For someone to notice.
I often think of a time when I was taking classes at UTSA and there was this girl I always saw. She was even in one of my classes. Out of all the people who go to UTSA, I saw this girl more than if I had planned to on purpose. I knew it was for a reason. I knew God wanted me to talk to her. He would set up perfect scenarios where it would be easy to.
But you know what? I never did. And I still regret it. I think about it a lot and I wonder about her. Wonder what she may have needed to hear or what I could have done. I'm sure whatever it was, God was able to use someone else to accomplish it..... But still.
I thank God for his grace because He doesn't hold that against me and he gives me more opportunities to stop, listen and be used. Like tonight.
The difference is that I listened.
We can get so caught up in our own lives- in our own "aches and pains", that we don't see what is in front of us... or who is in front of us.
Whatever it may be- an encouraging word, a hug, a smile...just letting someone know they are noticed...I hope we listen to that still small voice.
In those"Why Lord" moments, He always has a reason. And I am thankful to be used in them.