This afternoon I spent some much needed one on one time with my toddler. We went to lunch and played games and walked around a place filled with people but for us it was as if we were the only ones there. It was really feeling like the best day ever and as it was coming to an end we smiled and said hello to everyone we passed.
We passed a woman and Charlotte and I said hello and I added a quick how are you? She gave me a halfhearted smile back and said “I’m ok.” I could have let it go but I heard how she said ok and knew in my heart she was anything but. I said, “I hope your day gets better.” And then looked at her name tag, and even though she was a total stranger and I had no clue what she was struggling with I used her name and ask if I could pray for her. A little misty eyed she said yes she would love that. I stayed and let her tell me a little of what was troubling her and promised to pray and then we parted ways.
Now there are a few different ways I could have walked back to my car and something told me to walk the long way. (It wasn’t my fitbit because I had already hit 10,000 steps so I knew it was something more leading me.) We took the long way and then laughed a little when a few minutes later we cross paths once more with this sweet soul. She waited for me and we started talking and she wanted to know where I work and I proudly told her. She then asked if it was a Lutheran church. Why yes! You should come! I invite people all the time but had a feeling she might actually show up if I told her when and where to go. Turns out she has been praying for a new church since she has moved and her old one is too far to drive.
Next weekend my new friend hopes to try St. Johns.
WOW. Good story right? But what does this have to do with parenting? Well the best part of this experience for me was not meeting this woman. It wasn’t even being totally unafraid to reassure her that God is listening and knowing he sends the right people at the right time. That was really cool and amazing to be a part of. However, the best part for me was that my little girl was right there watching it happen. She saw how God used the two of us to let this person know that even though we may have been strangers before she knows she has other people in the world who care. She knows her prayers are being answered. Charlotte heard her say, “You are an answered prayer!” That is a gift I could not have given her myself. That was a message straight from God.
While I may do everything in my power to share Jesus with Charlotte she is doing the same thing for me and she doesn’t even know it. She inspires me to do what she does naturally. She smiles and greets everyone wherever she goes and she listens very carefully to how they respond. Because of Charlotte I am actively trying to listen better and pray more. The two have proved to go hand in hand. So many times we say “how are you?” but how often do we really hear the answer? Every day is filled with opportunities to be the hands and feet of God. So the next time you ask someone how they are stop and listen. You might just be there to answer a prayer.
1 Peter 4:11 “Do you have the gift of speaking? Then speak as though God himself were speaking through you. Do you have the gift of helping others? Do it with all the strength and energy that God supplies. Then everything you do will bring glory to God through Jesus Christ. All glory and power to him forever and ever! Amen.”
Elementary Ministries Director