A Religious Experience

A friend from MCC sent me this story as soon as it happened.  I asked permission and erased the names.  Pumps me up!

Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world. -James 1:27

On with the story . . .

Well – typical day today – go to work – run from meeting to meeting with my hair on fire – can’t get home in time to take my son to his first all-star football practice all the way on the other side of town – get there introduce myself to the coach – apologize for my son being late – off to run errands from there – stop at the IGA on Locust street – clearly on the other side of the tracks – I feel something pulling me inside – not sure how, why or what for – walk around – image grab something from their deli – think nothing of it – grab a soda – not even a second thought of how to pay for it – get to the register – I get rung up – debit card and done – start for the door – out of the corner of my eye – a woman on her cell phone – two teenage kids standing in the line – kids heads done – mother tearing up – I know what’s happening – checkout lady patiently waiting – no, actually clearly frustrated and angry she has someone in line that is not moving through like everyone else – I wait at the door – standing there silently – hesitating multiple times – do I do something – can I do something – surely with her being on the phone with her bank, the money will get transferred – I can go on with my life – do I trust him ….. I am willing to step out to help after God clearly put her and her kids in my path – should I do something – anything – how much is it – 30, 50, 70 dollars – do I trust him ….. – I look at the register – 120 dollars – tears roll down her face – she leaves the store in total embarrassment – humiliated – scared – I can’t leave – I stand there for another 10 seconds – I’m being tested – am I his hands and feet – can I be the best thing to happen to this struggling single mother of two – WWJD – I did it – after driving by beggars on the corner countless times – after not praying for those whom I know need my prayers – God placed this single women in the path and has asked, do you trust me – I answer, I do Lord – I do – I approach the checkout clerk at the counter and tell her I will pay for it – she looks at me in amazement and somewhat irritated – asks if I realize its 120 dollars – 100, 120, 200, 250 – what would have been too much at this point – could my own family go a week without buying groceries – we could live off of our pantry alone for a week – this is a lesson for me and my family – I go outside tell the woman I am going to buy her groceries – already sobbing, she bursts out crying – she says no – its too much – I told her I was going to do it – I go back inside – the clerk (to my amusement) has to ring everything back up – not sure why this is funny at the time but it just was – work with me – I check out – take out an extra 20 for her to fill up her gas tank – I walk out to greet her – her teenage kids totally in disbelief at this point – I take them to her van – load them into their vehicle – provide her with 20 to fill up her van – she is at passing out point – she asks me how she can repay me – I tell her there is nothing she could do – I gave her a much needed hug in between her catching her breath during continued crying – I told her to have a good day – I told her I would pray for her – she asked again, there has to be something I could do to pay her back – I told her yes – yes there was something she could do – I asked her to come to Maryland Community Church on Sunday night at 6:00 p.m. – wrote directions – and told her it would change her life – I told her to promise me she would go – she told me she absolutely would be there.

Thank you God for the opportunity to serve in your name – thank you for the opportunity to provide another life lesson to my children on what it means to be God’s hands and feet.

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12 thoughts on “A Religious Experience

  1. I smile and cry at the same time. Love this story. My thanks to the obedient follower whose story touches and inspires me.

  2. God’s grace, God’s generocity, God’s awesome power, but more importantly God’s incredible unconditional love is the theme of this story! Whether or not you have it to spare, $120+$20 for gas is a lot of money for any one person to sacrifice for a friend let alone a perfect stanger in the store… BUT the touch of God’s hands on your heart and the hearts of those His hand’s worked through is priceless!! I’ve needed help in my life before and to receive God’s grace from one of His servants has an everlasting place in my heart!


  3. Wow..I knew I needed a little cry today.
    My hubby and I have been on the recieving end of this story before. Hopefully sometime in our life we can be on the "returning" end…
    The hands and feet of one could lead to God's everlasting love for another…
    Thank you for the story, I'm so happy to be a part of such a place that has God's Grace and Love like MCC and it's peeps!

  4. I get this story completely! I was blessed a few years ago with the insight that, if I always carry a $20 bill in my wallet—never use it for myself even if I'm broke—simply to have on hand when someone else needs it, I will never be without grace in my life. Seems like I'm paying for grace, but what I'm doing is letting go of the idea that I'm the most important person on the planet, and that worrying about "stuff" is a sure way to be miserable.