Oct 11, 2011

An Unforeseen Friend. Thank You Lord!

Psalm 23:6 "Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me All the days of my life; And I will dwell in the house of the Lord Forever." (NKJV)
Another unforgettable moment spent serving God involved a woman, who at the time, lived down the street from me. One morning, I received an unexpected call from a neighborly woman. We had first met sometime during the year prior while standing outside a kindergarten classroom door. Her son and my son were in the same class together.  I often noticed that she and her young son walked to school. So, one day, after kissing my son goodbye, I offered to give her a return ride home. When she politely refused, I said, “Would you like to have my phone number? That way, should you ever need a ride, especially when it is raining outside, you can call me?”  The woman graciously accepted.
However, each time throughout the school year, when I sporadically offered to provide her and her young son a ride, she simply said, “No thanks.” Imagine my surprise and bewilderment, when a year later, my phone finally rang.  
We had experienced some rainy weather the week prior to her call. Yet, on this particular day, it was bright and sunny. It sure seemed odd to me that the woman would pick such a beautiful day to ask for a ride to school. She said, "Can you please give my son a ride to school today? And if it is possible, I would like to go too." I replied, "Yes, of course.” I invited her to my home. 
The school was located only a mile and a half from where we both lived. Even so, before we arrived to that busy school parking lot, we were deeply engrossed in conversation. She began, "I read your book." Wow! I turned pale with surprise and found myself speechless.  I listened as she told me how she had felt judged by me and some of the other parents over the past year. She talked about how she thought her son was being labeled as a “behavioral problem child.” Then, she said, "I feel alone. Everyone seems to dislike my son and I don't have anyone on my side."
            My heart sunk. How could she have perceived me as judgmental? I thought I had left that personality trait long behind. I began to share with her stories about my past. Next, we walked our children to the playground. The woman openly and honestly explained how the school wanted to meet with her to discuss her child's behavior. She added, "I have no one to advocate for me during district meetings."  Immediately, I thought, "I am not a Social Worker any more.” Then I began to ponder how many times, I had sat on the other side of the table from a broken-hearted and scared parent at those past district meetings. How many lost opportunities to bring someone to Christ? Subsequently, I blurted out, "You are not alone! I can come with you to the school district meetings and advocate for your son." A look of relief covered her face. And the woman became silent. Then, I said, "And…I can be your friend!"
I started to talk about God. I said, “You know, your son’s name has been on my personal prayer board for over one year. My youngest son and I have been praying for your son to have friends this year.” Her eyes welled with tears of disbelief.  
            We waited together for the first bell to ring. Then, the woman followed me to my car and I drove her home. Yet, before shutting the car door behind her, she paused for a moment and said, "Our family has been looking for a church to attend."  I smiled a grin ear to ear and invited her to attend our church with us.  Afterwards, I slowly drove away while speaking to the Lord. “Thank you Jesus Christ for lending me Your eyes to see the hurting and for the ability to respond with grace and Love.”  
Thank you for reading my about my journey with the Lord!
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