My to-do list was too long: trips to the post office and grocery store, housecleaning, and birthday party prep. Could I complete everything before guests arrived at noon to celebrate our granddaughter’s first birthday?
I rushed to the post office, only to discover it wasn’t open yet. Determined to finish all my tasks, I skipped to my next errand, raced through the grocery store, then swung by the post office again. What a morning! Feeling frazzled and frumpy, I noticed an attractive, well-groomed lady dropping off mail.
As I left the post office, the woman passed me. Hesitating, then smiling, I said to her, “You look beautiful. When I first saw you, I asked God to help me look more put-together.”
Smiling, she thanked me, and we got in our cars. Then she glanced my way, stepped out of her car, and walked toward mine. “Your compliment blessed me,” she said. Then her voice cracked. “My son was just diagnosed with acute leukemia, and I’m headed to the hospital.”
My heart ached for this stranger. “I’m so sorry. May I pray with you?”
She paused. “If you want to.” I reached through the open window, grasped her hand, and prayed a heartfelt prayer for her son, the doctors and medical team, and for her.
When I finished, she wiped away tears and said, “That was beautiful. I wish I could do that.”
“You can,” I assured her. “It just takes practice.” She talked more about her thirty-seven-year-old son’s serious situation and her prayers for his spiritual growth. After listening, I shared how God had comforted me in my own battle with incurable cancer. We said goodbye, and she drove away. I didn’t even get her name.
Driving home, I rejoiced that God had used me to encourage the woman. But I also wondered how often I miss opportunities like this by rushing through my days.
Verses in the Gospels came to mind, reminding me that Jesus saw the people He passed. For example, Matthew 9:36 says, “When he saw the crowds, he had compassion on them because they were confused and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd” (NLT, emphasis mine).
Jesus wasn’t focused on His to-do list, staring blindly ahead and ignoring those around Him. He didn’t hurry to His next appointment, trying to avoid interruptions. Instead, He saw those in need and took time for each one.
Too frequently I allow my busy schedule to make me inflexible, rushing by those God places in my path. How many people do I pass every day without really seeing them? How often do I miss the blessing of sharing Jesus with others?
I’m thankful God helped me notice the lady at the post office and nudged me to do what Jesus would have done: reach out to her.
Once home, God helped me to get ready on time for the birthday party. And the divine encounter made watching my granddaughter lick fluffy frosting from her birthday cake all the more special.
So now I pray, “Dear Father, open my eyes and heart to those around me. Please help me to really see others as You do and to show Your love to those You send my way.”
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