Sunday, January 25, 2009

God Uses Angels to Bless Those in Need

I spent some time in Tallahassee earlier this week. Jim had a meeting there and I took the day off to ride up with him. Most of my afternoon was doing what I love best, sitting in a chair at the local Borders cafe, sipping on a latte, books in hand, computer on lap, fingers to the keyboard. I had every intention of putting together my speaking material for our MOPS group later that week. As the mentor for approximately 40 young mothers, my presentation must be informative as well as encouraging; and I was on a mission.

As I approached the corner coffee shop I scanned the room. Since Tallahassee is a college town, I don’t know what I was thinking when I thought I’d find a nice, quiet place to study. The store was crawling with students hoping to find their own corner of solitude. Immediately my eyes spotted the nearly last vacant chair in the cafe. If I could get there quickly, maybe I could grab it before someone else did. As I made my way toward the chair, I noticed a man sitting in the one next to it. Our eyes met, making me a bit uneasy, but I thought to myself, “What could happen? We are in an open public place.”, so I proceeded, and am I ever glad I did.

As I got closer and placed my articles on the seat, we greeted each other, as I searched for an outlet. He kindly informed me it was behind the chair, I thanked him and acknowledged the temperature outside. His comment was: “It’s hard to use reverse psychology in this cold; I came here hoping to find some warmth.” Moved, I offered to buy him a cup of java, and that was the beginning of a very rewarding afternoon, at least for me anyway.

In our discussions we spoke much about God, Jesus, the Holy Spirit, and angels. We spoke of the blessings I receive in serving as MOPS Mentor; and of the many hurting women in the world. We spoke of Vietnam and the things he saw, the pain he felt, and how hard it is to forget. We spoke of people in general, how very few give him the time of day. How, because of his appearance, or lack of it; those in fine business suits just brush him off as if he were a pesky fly. We spoke of how people need to be less judgmental and more encouraging, and how we should be mirrors of Christ rather than the opposite. We spoke of how great God is and how few acknowledge Him. We spoke of the fact that God does more for us than we give Him credit for; and that our country is better off than most, yet we appreciate our blessings the least.

We spoke of so much I can hardly remember it all; but I can still remember his unshaven face, his messy- more salt than pepper hair. I remember that his khaki jacket and grey pants appeared to be older than the hills. I remember his teeth that probably haven’t seen a dentist in several years and his soft, trembling voice that at times cracked, when he was thinking of what to say. I remember asking him if he was a professor and his answer, “No not any more.” I remember him telling me he had a journal and every entry he wrote began with God. I remember feeling his pain…

In three and a half hours, in the corner of that cafĂ©; I felt the love of God evident in my life more than I have in the past several months. In one afternoon, my eyes were opened to the fact that no matter how much or how little a person has, no matter what pains or failures he’s experienced, no matter how lonely or blessed, if he chooses to focus his eyes on the prize, which is Christ Jesus; he’s better than blessed.

Bill thanked me several times for befriending him. When I asked if he believed God spoke to him, he said yes. He said he believed God spoke to him directly and sometimes through angels. I told him I agree. As he stood up and began to walk away, for an instant, I glanced down at my computer. When I lifted my head, and scanned the room, he was gone, as if he’d disappeared. There was so much more I wanted to say, so much more I wanted to do, but our time was up. I am certain he was real, I witnessed him eat a cookie and drink a cup of coffee; otherwise, I’d have sworn, he was an angel.

God knew I went to the bookstore on a mission, but He had other plans. He sent to me a lonely soul who needed a friend. In doing so, He and took my focus off my mission, and made His mission mine.

That day, God used Bill, to bring more joy and insight into my life than Bill will ever know. I can only hope God used me to bless him, as well. Though we went our separate ways and may never see each other again in this lifetime; without a doubt I am certain, we will meet again in the next.

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