I have a God story. It started off with talking to a lady about butterflies.
I went to the bank yesterday, just before picking up my kids from school. I felt rushed, and almost didn’t bother going at all. Everything was stacked against my bank errand. 3 unexpected phone calls had already delayed my trip to the bank, and the looming deadline to collect my children left my heart racing.
I eventually found myself standing in line at the bank. Checked in. Hands covered in sanitizer and unable to relax behind my mask. Life was feeling a little claustrophobic and a little less personal than I had desired.
Another lady arrived, and took her designated place behind me. I noticed her mobile phone cover and smiled. It was a butterfly cover, full of many beautiful butterflies. Lovely and pretty.
I tried to make my eyes smile, because the mask concealed the friendliness I wanted to communicate. I looked at the lady and complimented her cover. “I love butterflies” I said. She warmed up to my interaction with her.
She commented on how she felt butterflies represented new life….or maybe hope.
I suddenly recalled a story someone had told me about the struggle a butterfly must go through to get out of their cocoon. I told the lady that if someone helps the butterfly out of their cocoon, apparently the butterfly will die. Something about the struggle to get out of the cocoon, actually equips the butterfly with strength to fly and flourish.
I felt a bit weird for sharing this random story with my new friend. I have expected her to look at me with a disinterested expression. However, as I looked at her- tears began to escape from her eyes. “I needed to hear that today”, she admitted.
The tears got my attention, and I felt like God had lead me into a “God moment”.
This lovely lady began to share her story with me. A story of heartache and loss. A story of her loved ones dying. More than just one loss, she had lost 2 loved ones- including her husband.
My heart broke for her. I awkwardly asked if she would mind if I hugged her. Im Covid times, a hug seems so forbidden. Would she want to risk a hug, in such uncertain times? Would she feel put off by my gesture of physical contact? This could feel very awkward for me if she declined.
But who can stand in front of a grieving wife, and not reach out to give a simple hug? An acknowledgement of her heartache. Thankfully, she gratefully accepted, and said “Yes”. She needed a hug. She needed someone to care in that moment.
After hearing more about her journey, I asked if I could pray for her. She again said “Yes, that would be great”. I felt self-conscious about the audience of bystanders around me. Even of the staff, watching my every move. The hug, the lack of social distancing….the praying in public.
The thing is, I felt compelled to love on this woman. To remind her that God sees her heartache. To just show her that 1 person, 1 random stranger in the bank noticed her pain. That she mattered, to me and more importantly to God.
After praying, we continued to connect and chat while waiting for our turn to see the bank man. lol I have no idea what I should call the bank man? Banker? Bank manager? Customer service man?
Eventually, we said our goodbyes and parted ways. I left feeling different. Meeting her changed me. I felt so grateful that I got to meet this warm and friendly lady. I also continued to pray for her, even after driving towards the kids school. She had lost so much. Her whole world had changed in the space of 2 years. Her heart was so raw and fragile- like any heart experiencing loss.
I also felt so grateful to God. You see, God set up that moment. He planned it. God knew about the delays that prevented me from arriving at that bank when I had planned to arrive.
God also knew that because of the loss of my parents, I would be able to empathise with the lady’s grief.
God knew and invited me to spend more time with Him this past week- filling my soul with His word and His love. God perfectly set up that encounter at the bank. He wanted to bless that woman, and bless me at the same time.
You see, a month ago….maybe I wouldn’t have been bold enough to pray for her. Maybe I would have chickened out. Maybe a month ago, I would have felt too empty spiritually to offer much compassion… Sure, my heart would have been moved… but not enough “overflow” to make much of a difference to others.
So I praised God. I smile at His goodness. At how clever God is. He is the “Grand Weaver”….the Great connector. He cares for that beautiful woman and he cares for me. He cares for you.
I also praised God for the work He has begun in me. I recalled only 4 years ago, being terrified to pray for a stranger in public. I was paralyzed by fear…unable to confidently offer a prayer for someone whom I didn’t know. I smiled in awe of how God had used many opportunities to grow a little courage in my fearful heart. He is reminding me of the promise that says He will be faithful to complete the work He has begun in me…
Thank you so much Lord, for allowing me to meet that lady. Thank you that she said yes, and welcomed the tiny bit of love that I offered her. Thank you for devine appointments….devine opportunities. I pray that you will bless her heart, comfort her and draw her near to You.
Thank you for reviving my heart again….for making me come alive in you.
Love always Kelly xx