I spent my summer asking God to use me. I have been so blessed in my life and have long felt as if God has never had a real role for me in His business. I've been asking Him to mold me, refine me, open me to His kingdom work here on earth.
I got my first "assignment" last week.
While on my 2 mile morning walk, the name and face of one of the cashiers at our only large retailer in town came into my mind and would not go away. I knew her name from her name badge and I'd made small talk with her on many occasions. What could possibly have brought her to mind? I was praying for my parents at that particular moment in my walk. But clearly God interrupted my prayers and placed (I'll call her Tina) Tina's name smack on my lips.
"Get your feet wet, Mary. Act in obedience."
"And do WHAT, Lord?"
What was I supposed to do about this sense? I did not know her well. Was I supposed to go to the store and seek her out? And then what? I didn't even know if she was working that day.
"Could you give me a little help here, Lord?"
All I got was, again, "Act in obedience to my nudging. I will walk ahead of you."
I showered, dressed, and headed out to the store, even though I did not need enough items to justify the gas across town. I walked in, grabbed 2 items and headed to the check out area, where I saw her immediately in her lane. She was (no surprise) wide open. I laid down my items, said good morning to and blurted out, "Tina, I was just wondering if there was something you might need prayer for today. God really put you on my heart this morning and I had to ask you."
She just stared at me. Seconds before I started shrinking into the floor from self-consciousness, she started what became a 5 minute monologue about all her current problems. As she was talking, a young woman turned her cart into our line, but (no surprise) stayed way back to read magazines and appeared not to notice us at all, giving Tina more time to talk to me.
After a couple minutes, Tina started to cry as she finished her "story" and said, "Today I was going to call into that prayer hotline on that 103.3 radio station."
I noticed the woman behind us was now putting her items on the conveyor belt. I wanted Tina to have a minute to compose herself so I felt I should leave. I looked at her and said, "I am so sorry about everything you are going through, and I just want you to know that I will be praying for you and your family about all these things. God does hear your prayers."
She thanked me and I left. I prayed for her all the way home and several times after that.
While my left brain would love to understand the bigger picture in that whole scenario, I must be content with knowing that God trusted me to obey his nudge and act without knowledge of what I was really supposed to do and why. Act without knowing the outcome. I still don't know if I said or did the "right thing."
But I obeyed. Maybe that was the most important thing.
Obedience is not always a clear and organized effort. Sometimes it is just floundering through with nothing more than a hunch, knowing God can use imperfect me and my imperfect attempts to bless others and find moments where I can be, for a few minutes, His hands, feet, or mouthpiece.