I hear my children playing in the background, and I feel the pull of my attention for somewhere else. Where the work I’m doing is work the world can see, the kind that used to earn me raises and accolades. Or where I’m feeding the poor or clothing the needy and not just folding another stack of shirts.
I am consumed by the present pulls of my needy ones, and sometimes I want to be somewhere besides this moment where my discontent and failings and irritation are a reality.
I try to remember that small and invisible things are big ones. I try to remember to look into eyes and listen with both ears to stories and know that small things that are big ones move with me and us outside of this house.
Years ago, in earlier times of mother invisibility, I longed to see God’s Spirit move, and I asked my Maker to show me needs I could help touch. While Sici spent the morning in preschool, God carried me and J, my fuzz-headed baby, to the close-by mall.
Right to the salesclerk in an accessory store who stood alone, checking her face in the mirror and looking at the burns that covered one cheek. Her face was twisted with a kind of self despising that I recognized.
“How are you?” I asked, approaching from the front of the store.
“Really?” I asked as J and I drew closer.
“No, not really,” she answered. “I can’t imagine how anyone would ever love me looking like this. I am so ugly.”
She talked for a while about her burns and the fire-scorched ground of her life while I scooted J’s stroller back and forth, hoping my baby would be content to look at shiny baubles for a while.
I listened, and the salesclerk cried, and I prayed no one would enter the store. And it was just us three.
After the young woman stopped talking, I asked if I could pray for her. I placed my hand on her shoulder and said she was beautiful and loved, and I asked for God’s love and life to fill her broken places, and the tears rolled down both our cheeks.
I didn’t know if she trusted me because I was a mom or because I looked like a woman who would understand, but there we were that day — a young mother, a 20-year-old salesclerk and a baby rocking back and forth in the space between the long beads and dangly earrings.
Joining the Five Minute Friday free-writing community at Lisa-Jo’s with today’s writing prompt, PRESENT. (As seems to often be the case, this one took me more than five.)
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Oh, we mothers can so easily forget that folding another stack of laundry or making another lunch box are really and truly holy work in our Pappa’s eyes! I am so glad that Pappa sent you to His hurting child.
So easy to forget. Needing help to remember this again today, Mia. Thank you for your words, friend.
Ashley, this was just beautiful. So very moving and I love how God can use us right where we are, if we’re just willing. I loved this.
How fun that we were side by side at FMF again. Thank you, Ruth!
Such a powerful post, bless you.
And blessings to you too.
Instead of just wishing to live in the present you did…you lived and blessed another soul. So beautiful. Isn’t it always amazing how God answers our prayers to make a difference so quickly (when we have willing hearts).
I need to continually remember to pray those kind of prayers. Sometimes it can be so hard to see past the end of my nose. The combination of presence right here and openness to what or who may come…a continual growing journey, yes?
Oh I love this!!! I love your heart and the desire to be Present – and to also be willing… to reach out! It reminded me of going on Treasure Hunts! My small group did this while reading the book together and we LOVED to see how God would point us to one who really needed to know that He loved them and who needed prayer! I think maybe it is time to go out again! Thanks for sharing this!
I love that idea of treasure hunting, Karrilee. Thank you for sharing!
How Very Beautiful This IS! So nice to see you again dear heart! Many Blessings He Gives us, for the Broken Hearted, and in that Bold Grace, we too, are restored. I Lift thee up as thou Lifts me and we shall ascend together….. somehow… Ahhhh Blessed Be and Many Loves and Hugs, Kelly
“In that bold grace, we too are restored.” Isn’t that true, dear Kelly? Thank you for all your love.
What a holy moment. God is amazing how He sets up divine appointments like this.
Yes, he is.
Oh so beautiful. I too will pray for her. You, your precious girl, the sales clerk, and god – 4 there that day :)
That’s right, Deb. :-)