When you’re entrenched in churchy activities where you’re constantly surrounded by other Christians it means we need to be that much more prayerfully aware of our surroundings in the world through the little things. Our trips to the bank, the grocery store, the office at work, fill in the ___________. It means the mundane becomes the divine and sometimes when we least expect it and in ways we never would’ve dreamed. I’ll never forget an experience I had like that.
I was looking out the kitchen window as I prepared chicken salad sandwiches for me and Randy. I happened to notice an older black gentleman sitting on the steps down the sidewalk from our house. The scene was familiar. Old man with an old bike parked in the same spot and he was resting in the shade. We had never spoken but I’d seen him at this same resting spot before. I very much sensed in my heart that God was telling me to share a few of these sandwiches with that man. I said, “You have got to be kidding, God! That is a man and I’m a woman and you really want me to walk down two sandwiches to him?”
And He would not let up.
I argued for at least 20 minutes but couldn’t get away from it. So here I go walking down Main St. at Noon to give this elderly man a sandwich. I hid the sandwiches in my Grandmother’s egg basket in case someone thought I was a nut case. When I got to him I was rather shocked by his piercing blue eyes and said, “Sir, please don’t think this is weird because I know it really is but would you like a homemade chicken salad sandwich and a bottle of water?” He said, “I aint got no money.” I was so taken back by that and said, “Oh No,Sir, it’s free!” He started laughing and told me his name and said, “You made that for me?” I said, “Well, not really Sir but I want you to have them if you’d like.”
He snatched those two sandwiches up and grabbed my arm to pull me closer and that’s when I said real fast, “Hope you enjoy!” and I ran ALL the way home. Yeah, I mean ALLLLL the way home I ran.
And I still have no idea why God had me do that. But I know He put it on my heart. And I trust He had a reason even if it was just to see if I’d obey Him. I don’t always respond in obedience. Many times I don’t. But my deepest desire is to venture into the awkward, or whatever it is He calls me to, for the sake of loving others like He loves me. And I’ll leave the results up to Him.
So I say all that to say…..as we pray and ask God to show us how He wants us to serve and love others expect Him to do it. And be prepared that often times it’s not in a nice, tidy package like we have pictured in our heads. It can seem awkward, uncomfortable and maybe even weird. But I want to challenge all of us to dare to ask God to speak into our hearts and then to follow through with what He tells us. It will be a beautiful picture of the Body of Christ working in such a way that we say, “Oh, that had to be God!”
Looking back on this now that its been a long time I see things differently. At the time I was mortified, argumentative and scared to death. I don’t claim to have handled the situation perfectly or with ease. I was more annoyed by the simple calling than grateful. But I’m in a different place now. I look back on the sandwich man scenario and see that God spoke to me in the midst of the mundane. It was just a regular day in the kitchen at lunch time. And He spoke into my heart. What makes this divine is not necessarily the gift of the sandwiches because I have no idea what those sandwiches meant for that man. But the communion between a girl interested in her own agenda for the day being interrupted by God is what’s divine. God using us when we don’t have anything to offer except what He does in and through us is divine.
I pray that this post doesn’t seem arrogant. God knows my heart in this and it’s to praise Him for giving us chances to show His love. For equipping us to do what He has called us to do even when we think it’s impossible. To praise Him for answering prayer and for giving courage that isn’t within us. That is my heart in this post. It’s to encourage us all to listen to Him and to respond and to look back at the grace involved in Him using us. And what about Him still using us as even after we stumble the entire way down the street out of pure awkwardness? Yeah, I’d call that something divine.
Just when I was starting to stress about how many church and Christian school things I’m doing and how I don’t have time to be with the people in my community that need to know God, God brings the sandwich man to mind. And He whispers to me, “Keep doing the church stuff and keep listening and be ready for the next mundane turned divine.”
And I’m left wondering if next time I’ll not run away from sandwich man but instead use more words to communicate the love of Christ.
Linking with Barbie today