As I sat in a service club meeting early on Tuesday morning at the local Panera bread, I began to hear that all too familiar voice chanting in my head. Oh no, not again and certainly not now I thought. I’m really trying to pay attention to what’s happening at this meeting. Decisions that need to be made for our local Kiwanis club and the dialogue being exchanged between board members.
I don’t have time for this.
But the voice continued.
I know this voice. It’s a voice I have come to appreciate and trust but sometimes the timing is truly inconvenient. It is the voice of the Holy Spirit speaking on God’s behalf.
Today was not a good day, I was super busy and had a full plate for the remainder of the day.
But the voice was persistent.
“Buy Gayle a loaf of bread.” the soft voice whispered.
“What? God I’m really busy right now.” I said in my head.
“Buy Gayle a loaf of bread,” He persisted.
“You want me to buy Gayle a loaf of bread and do what with it? Hang it on her door knob in a Mary Kay bag with a sympathy card from Vons? “Yes” was God’s response.
Gayle was a good customer of mine and have become a dear friend. She had called a couple months earlier to ask me to come by and meet her dad who had recently moved in with her and her husband so she could care for him during his final weeks of life.
Her daddy was suffering from cancer.
I was honored to be invited and went by early one morning to say hello. He was a kind and gentle man and I was grateful to have had the opportunity to know him, even if only for a few minutes. It wasn’t too long after I met him that she called again to share her sadness about his passing and three days later I sat in Panera bread and got the inner memo to buy the bread and leave it at her doorstep.
You can only imagine how I argued with God on this. What would she think of me? I knew Gayle would definitely believe I had lost my mind and I was dreadfully afraid of making a fool of myself.
After all I was a professional beauty consultant not a crazy woman.
After nearly 30 minutes of a quiet and hidden dialogue I acquiesced, swallowed my fear and stopped by the counter on my way out to buy some sesame bread. I ran across the parking lot to Von’s to pick up a sympathy card and headed toward Gayle’s house.
I breathed a sigh of relief when I realized she wasn’t home. So I left the package on the door and left as quickly as I could.
It was only just a few short days later that I got a phone call from my friend telling me how grateful she was that I had dropped the bread off at her home. She told me her friends had brought dinner for that night but no one brought the bread and so she and her family were able to share bread over the passing of her dad.
What a gift for all of us. Not only did I hear the voice of the Holy Spirit but I was willing to do what was asked of me. I was given a chance to listen and then make a choice to follow the prompting of God.
I realized at that moment that every day I wake up I am given the opportunity to be used by God in the quietest of ways. I am called upon each day to act on God’s behalf and do it joyfully.
But before anything happens I must choose to be willing, no matter what. On that day I almost let the gift pass me by because of my stubborn ego.
My prayer today is that I will hear, obey and be thankful to be chosen to do God’s work especially in the simple ways. And in doing so my life and the lives of others will be enriched and God will be glorified.