Friday, September 19, 2008

But Sometimes He Does...Story # 2

Exodus 19:4-6 (New Living Translation)
4 ‘You have seen what I did to the Egyptians. You know how I carried you on eagles’ wings and brought you to myself. 5 Now if you will obey me and keep my covenant, you will be my own special treasure from among all the peoples on earth; for all the earth belongs to me. 6 And you will be my kingdom of priests, my holy nation.’ This is the message you must give to the people of Israel.”

Yesterday and today are the eleventh anniversary of the events in my second story about God using a human to deliver a message to someone.

It was the evening of September 18th, 1997. Paul and I both shared office space back then, on the top floor of an old building, over a lawyer's office in town.

It had been a long day. The organization we both worked for was in the midst of restructuring and we had been packing up our offices getting ready to move in different directions.

At 7.00 o'clock we decided to call it a day and as we walked down the narrow, creaky staircase to the street, we looked at eachother and said, "Let's just go to MacDonalds for supper."

We sat down beside the window with our supper--not healthy but fast and easy--and looked out to see Susan and Ron Stewart, old friends that used to attend our church several years before.

We waved and smiled and they came into the restaurant. We didn't know it then, but they had quickly conferred about whether to go to Kentucky Fried Chicken instead when they saw us. It wasn't personal, but we represented something painful to them at the time: Church.

Paul's late father had always had a special place in his heart for Susan and Ron and their family of nine. He became a sort of adopted grandfather who would show up at their house with chocolate bars in his pockets. He was their pastor too, and loved them. I had always liked them too, from a distance, wanting to get to know Susan but our lives were busy with young children and other concerns and we never did get together. And then eventually they drifted out of our lives and began to attend another church.

It was obvious now that there had been some tough times in Susan and Ron's lives since we saw them last. They didn't go into any detail, but they said they were no longer going to church and pain was etched on them. I could see it.

The next morning Paul and I read a chapter from the book of Exodus after breakfast--chapter 19. I was reading it out loud. When I got to verses 4-6, I had a strong impression that God meant these verses for the Stewarts. Beside them was a cross reference to 1 Peter 2:5 and when I looked it up I again felt sure that this verse was for them.
1 Peter 2:5 (New Living Translation)
5 And you are living stones that God is building into his spiritual temple. What’s more, you are his holy priests.Through the mediation of Jesus Christ, you offer spiritual sacrifices that please God.


Usually I would have left for work right after breakfast, but on this particular morning, our furnace was having its annual tune up and I had to wait for the serviceman.

I rarely just call people, but God had given me a message and even the time in which to deliver it; I had to do it and not worry about the consequences.

On the other end of the phone, Susan did not sound as if she thought I was crazy. She said that she had been wondering where all the shepherds were.

Thus began the journey of a precious friendship and the healing of hearts.

On September 17th, the day before we met Susan and Ron, The Daily Light starts with Matthew 12:20:
A bruised reed he will not break,
and a smoldering wick he will not snuff out,

and includes Ezekiel 34:1616

I will search for the lost and bring back the strays. I will bind up the injured and strengthen the weak, but the sleek and the strong I will destroy. I will shepherd the flock with justice.

On September 19th, the evening reading for the Daily Light begins with Psalm 121:1-2

1 I lift up my eyes to the hills—
where does my help come from?
2 My help comes from the LORD,

the Maker of heaven and earth.

Psalm 121 was Susan's mother's favourite psalm. The perfection of how God weaves things together!

Paul and I would hardly ever be at work that late and would rarely choose to go to MacDonalds. Ron and Susan could easily have turned away to avoid us and gone to Kentucky Fried Chicken instead, but God had a plan.

And yes, sometimes he does use us to speak to others...

1 comment:

Joyful Fox said...

Belinda,

What a beautiful testimony of God working in people's hearts and using His people to accomplish that work.

It is inspiring and encouraging. When I look as Susan and her family and all the lives they touch and how God used you two for healing, it is amazing. Your obedience and faithfulness to Him bore beautiful fruit. To God be the glory!

Thanks for sharing that post.