This week I have been preparing a "nine little words" experience and a "snapshots along my path" moment for you to read. Then while I was out today, I saw the very person whose story I had began to compose. Huh? Seriously?
Is it just me or do you find it a bit "odd" that as I begin to write about the next person in line...I see that very individual? Makes me really wonder what God is up to in these encounters I am having. I am only just now beginning to see a glimpse of the complexity in how very personal and intimate our Lord can be in relationships. I mean, I know how personal He is to me and how well He knows me...but to see how woven together we are? Wow. It has brought me to tears of joy many times over the past few weeks.
For example, pushing through my fear in asking, "How can I ask God to bless you today?" has really opened me up to talk with almost anyone. I say "almost anyone" because one of my fears is still that group of moms standing in a huddle at my daughter's school while they wait for their children. Do you know that they have seen me for two years now and not one of them has ever broken "the huddle" and spoken to me? Soccer moms are scary...to me anyway. But I feel God using that too.
Want to know why?
Since I was a little girl, I avoided clicks. Hated them. I was always seen as a nerd and nobody ever took the time to get to know me. I usually had one or two friends at the most...all my life. So here's my thing -- I gravitate towards the quiet person or the one off by themselves. For the past year, while the mothers huddled, I found a teenage girl who would pick up her brother every afternoon. She always dresses in black, wears metal, and has really cool colors in her hair sometimes. I liked her right away.
I've been talking with her...mostly listening and laughing. She is great. I love her sweet smile and her eagerness. I've learned that she loves her mom and step-dad because they love playing video games and comic books and reading and family time...yeah...each other in their simplicity and complexity. I now also know what her mother looks like because this teenage girl was not there one afternoon to pick up her brother. And can you guess what happened? I made note that the "mom huddle" didn't break up for her either and I told myself, "one of these days...I'm going to talk to her."
I knew it would be a rare opportunity to see the mom again but I also knew the courage to push through the little girl fear in me was somehow strong because of "nine little words". Did I mention these conversations I was having with the teenage girl all took place on a playground? Hmmmm...? Playground...little girl fear...alone...playground...? Sounds a little divinely "ironic" doesn't it?
May I take this moment to let you see a glimpse of the golden thread consistently woven in this tapestry God Himself is masterfully creating? You are going to like this.
Just this week while I was talking to this graduating senior girl, I saw a dog run across my mind in a memory. Weird huh? (Stick with me here.) Then I saw a woman and her baby coming up my street...in that same memory. It was this girl's MOM!
All of a sudden, out of the blue, I blurt out:
-"Hey! Do you have a dog?"
Don't judge me. If you've been around me long enough I will probably also blurt out something really random. Moving on...
-"I think he was in my yard once. And...your mom...with your little brother? I think they came and got him."
-"Oh yeah. He did that all the time. Not so much anymore."
-"That was four years ago!"
-"Yeah sounds about right. That was YOU?! Huh...cool."
Like I said in the beginning of this post...see how woven together we are?
Because of nine little words, God started cracking and peeling away at the most fragile parts of my outer shell. Because of peeling away that shell, I began to see things hidden inside of me. Because of seeing things hidden inside of me, I began to see a need to change my thought process about shallow conversations. Because of needing to change my thought process about shallow conversations, I began to look for opportunities. Because I began to look for opportunities, I saw one God had provided:
He provided a runaway dog, who found my yard out of an entire neighborhood...four years prior. For the past year I have formed a casual relationship with the owner and I didn't even know it! Well, well, well. What a coincidence.
So shy girl me began to stalk and lurk for teenager's momma!
Kidding. Seriously I am. Sort of. But really...it's not illegal in Iceland. (I have no idea what that means and I don't think I want to know. Seriously. Sort of.)
The "rare opportunity" was this past Friday afternoon and I was able to make my way over to where mom sat by herself in the playground. She was only there because her teen aged senior was at graduation practice. I'll just say this...my heart had a huge grin when I told her that I loved talking with her daughter. Then the smile on her face matched mine.
-"By the way. Don't you have a dog that used to run away?..."
Oh blessed and beautiful and good Father! You are rocking my world with these recent encounters. It makes me appreciate how You are always at work and how even the littlest things we do or say matter...because You are our divine Daddy and all You want for us is to love and be loved in return. Your selfless love for each of us makes my heart soar!
What a glorious tapestry You are weaving my King! Keep my eyes open so I may continue to enjoy what you do!
All my love,