“The right word at the right time is like a custom-made piece of jewelry, and a wise friend’s timely reprimand is like a gold ring slipped on your finger.” (Proverbs 2511-12 MSG)
Once a week some friends and I meet for coffee at a deli. We share the latest news about family, project updates, and prayer requests. As the commitments of the day being to squeeze into our time together, one by one, we rise from our booth, and head into the day.
Large Goldfish glide effortlessly in their invisible environment, with the gracefulness of angels. It is an antidote to the pressure I feel about my crazy schedule. It is causes me to slow down and breathe, even among the crowd of people.
Our waitress calls us the God Squad. Her khaki pants and pink golf shirt are always crisp and clean. We include her in settling difference of opinions, or ask her if she has heard any facts about the latest town news. For this Blog, I’ll call her Pinkie; though I doubt you would know her.
Pinkie has a tattoo on her arm of a shooting star with a long tail. In the long tail are several smaller stars. She scars up her body with art trying to tell her story.
After the rest of the “God-Squad” leaves, I linger a little longer.
I get the nerve to ask, Pinkie, her about her tattoo.
“It’s my family,” she says. And she begins to tell me about her mother dying when she was young, then her daddy dying several years ago, and the two little girls she is raising all alone.
She fills my coffee cup, and tells a bit of her story. There are no tears; there are just the facts of what has happened in her life.
I want to wrap my arm around her shoulder, and tell her that I, too, was a single mother. I know how hard it is – how lonely, and how easy it is to settle for less, just to feel something more than responsibility and pain.
My voice begins to hum a hymn I heard over the radio, by Stuart Townend, called How Deep the Father’s Love. One verse went like this:
“ How great the pain of searing loss,
The Father turns His face away
As wounds which mar the chosen One,
Bring many sons to glory”
Isn’t that how God uses what was meant for evil? He shows the hands, and feet, scared from nails. He pulls up his shirt and lets us see his back and side. He pulls back the veil over my heart and reveals to one who is hurting, a sister.
I stare at the aquarium beside me lost in thought about my waitress. A goldfish is snuggled under a cliff, in the rock. Its big bubble eyes appear to be staring right at me.
“So what do you think”, I ask it. The mouth of the golden carp opens and closes, but no words are heard.
Maybe that is the whole point. Sometimes we meet a person, and you know the Lord is placing them on your heart, but words are not necessary.
The old adage, “They won’t care what you know, until they know that you care”, comes into play here.
Perhaps the time has not come for us to talk; the time is for me to listen to her and to God, and to pray for her…with expectation.
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