Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Cookie Cutter Words - The Final Part

If this is your first time reading this series of posts, may I suggest you start at Cookie Cutter Words - Part I.  It has been an amazing story.

For those of you who have been reading along and anxiously waiting...come back tomorrow.

KIDDING!

I have been waiting for this moment.  I cannot even begin to tell you how excited I am.  From the previous posts, you understand I went through a couple of weeks trying to wrap up a story I felt was unfinished. However, I didn't realize it was because God still needed the lesson to hit home.

Hang on! This is going to be good.

....

Friday morning started out amazing.  I had finally let her go and went about my morning chores in beautiful conversation and praise for our heavenly Father.  I couldn't imagine the day getting any better. But I knew it would be. My heart had been lifted to that place.  You know. It's the feeling that no one person would be capable of stealing any of your joy...no matter what.

I was expecting company that Friday evening to help me celebrate my birthday.  I was making a Neopolitan cake for the first time and about one hundred fifty flowered Mother's Day mini-cupcakes for church.  If you've been following my blog for a while, you know that means some last minute items at the store.  The problem while out doing errands was that I wasn't near a grocery store and I had a six minute window to run into any store.  Why? I had to be at my daughter's school to pick her up and nothing was going to stop me from being there on time.

Did you catch that I said I only had a six minute window? Hold onto it. 

Those six minutes had to include walking speed walking through the store AND purchase of items. The race against the clock was on! I quietly asked God to slow down time and help my eyes scan the store. Walk. Walk. WALK. Yes! I found what I needed and they were on sale. BONUS!

Now I need you to slow down for a minute and imagine with me of a moment in time recorded in scripture.  It is in the Gospel of John when he writes that Jesus "had to go through Samaria" (Jn 4:4)  If you know anything about the story, you know this is the time when Jesus (seen as a good Jewish rabbi) spoke to a woman (a despised Samaritan) at a well. Jesus, being a proper Jewish man, was supposed to go around Samaria (much less talk to a woman) but He didn't.  The implication of the word "had" suggests purpose. Christ had a purpose. There was a woman He had to see. There was a woman He had to speak with.  There was a woman who had to hear what He had to say. He had to go through Samaria. 

Still with me?

What we do not know as we read the story of the Samaritan woman, is how Jesus must have felt when He finally saw her. He was getting ready to reveal for the very first time His purpose. Who He is. He was going to tell her...a woman, a despised Samaritan woman, who because of her shame was out in the middle of the day getting water -- alone. The very Messiah she has been waiting for all her life is going to ask her for a drink! Can you imagine? His joy must have been difficult to contain when He saw her. She was the one He needed to speak with...and there she was. She was the reason He had to go to Samaria.

Here is what you have been waiting so long for...

I think I may have experienced a very small sip of that overflow of joy when I saw...her.  This beautiful woman who I prayed for and carried and finally let go. On this Friday afternoon, just a handful of hours after feeling joy being poured on me, I had to go to the store...and there she was. Oh my heart! I felt like it was going to burst and by my calculations I only had three minutes left in the store!

Trust me, I didn't find anything in that moment to be a coincidence. Not even that I had asked God to please slow down time for me...because I had somewhere to be. All the while, He must have been smiling knowing full well there was someone I had to see. This was not going to be a detour in my day. This was going to be a moment I would remember and praise Him for the lesson learned. It was going to be as Christ said to His disciples in the story of the Samaritan woman, "Do you not say, 'Four months more and then the harvest'? I tell you, open your eyes and look at the fields! They are ripe for harvest." (Jn 4:35)

I casually walked up to the woman who had captured my heart so long ago. And letting go of any expectations or the need for cookie cutter words:

-Hello. Is your name _____?
-Yes (with a skeptical look)
-You have no idea how happy I am to see you. I had asked how I could pray for you about five months ago right before Christmas.

Her eyes opened wide. She remembered. She recognized. Her eyes told me she had been waiting for me. So I told her:

-You have no idea how you have impacted my life. I have prayed for you and prayed for you and now I see you! Oh please tell me, how are you?

You may think me a horrible mother at this point but those minutes I needed to get to my daughter's school meant nothing at the moment. I knew she would be safe in the school if I was late.  As a matter of fact, I had forgotten about time completely when this woman tearfully answered me by saying:

-You have no idea how much you have impacted mine.  What is your name?
- Lisa
-What church do you go to?
-New Life Christian Church.
-Oh how I've been wanting to go there. I drive past it all the time but I'm too scared to go by myself.
-Please come with me this Sunday! It's mother's day and you can come as my guest. I go by myself and I would love to have you join me! I'll be at the 9:30 service and I'll meet you at the door.
-Ok. Yes. I'll meet you there.

That was a simple snapshot of our conversation. I was so overwhelmed with joy and had a grin from ear to ear as I left her that I started praising my Father as I walked out of the store.  He had been so patient with me and prepared my heart to properly receive a gift He was so willing to give. But first, He had to go there with me.

I had to discover through prayerful dialogue, that what I say to one person may not fit another. I had to discover that my personal experiences in life can cloud my judgement of another. I had to discover that well thought out words spoken through that cloud can still hurt.  I had to discover that no matter how honest and good willed my intentions may be, it is only God who writes the script.

You may think to yourself that I should know all these things already. I did. I knew them well. I knew them in my mind. It wasn't until I experienced these things in my heart that I gained full knowledge of them. God had shared His wisdom with me and it was a beautiful gift.  I can look back on that day I first met her and see how all the puzzle pieces were laid out. It was months of my Lord giving me little pieces and guiding me in placing them where they belong. The only problem was that I kept looking at those little pieces and felt I knew where they were supposed to go.  Unfortunately, I didn't know what the whole picture was supposed to look like and I had to let go of my desire to finish it on my own.

Jigsaw puzzle piece. Cookie cutter. Same concept. They both are only going to work one way. And no matter how much we may try to make it go the way we want, it's still only going to be what the Master intends.  Looking back, I am thrilled I did not see her again right away during Christmastime. I'm so thankful I chose to keep in prayerful waiting.

Speaking of waiting, remember the six minutes?  I returned to my car with a minute to spare. I'm happy to say that I was not surprised but absolutely delighted in a seemingly impossible prayer request answered. Time to be slowed down by the Creator of time? Why not?

I'm sure you would also like to know if "she" showed up on Sunday.

Yes. She did.

She has also spoken with our pastor and has attended some classes offered at our church.  Soon after, I've discovered that there is a need for alot of healing which is the reason I have not placed her name here or where I first met her.  It has been one more puzzle piece put in place and my delay in getting her story to you. I am grateful to our Father that in His wisdom, He had me wait. Her privacy is my gift to her. I trust prayers for her will put her on the right path to peace.

And lastly, the "ironic" thing is that I see her all the time now.  Every time we see each other it is with a huge and friendly smile. There is no need for cookie cutter words used so often in casual conversations. She knows my name and I know hers. And that is a beautiful thing.

So, remember the harvest is ripe. Open your eyes.  Is there somewhere you have to go? Is there someone you have to see? Today just may be the day they have been waiting for all their life...just like the woman at the well.

Blessings for the journey along your path,






4 comments:

  1. Lovely. Simply Lovely. Our. God. Is. SO. Good. :)

    ReplyDelete
  2. Amazing. He is so patient and loving. Thanks for sharing this story with us. :)

    ReplyDelete
  3. I love that story.

    She wanted to come to New Life.

    God is amazing.

    How he is working before us and after us and if we are so lucky, through us, is nothing short of astounding. To read your story is a beautiful gift. Thank you for sharing it and for being so open to His leading. Keep writing!

    ReplyDelete

Thank you for taking the time to read and comment. I look forward to reading your thoughts and sharing this space with you.