Friday, July 3, 2009

Being PUT in the right place

Did you ever feel like God put you in the exact right place at an exact time? Yesterday I had one of the times, it could not have been anything but God causing those chain reactions because there were just too many variables. Here's what happened:

Yesterday my friend was over helping me bake 6 different kinds of cookies. 5 hours in I find I am one single egg short. My neighbor (who ALWAYS has an egg for me) has no eggs. So I leave Deanna with 9 kids in my house and run to the Walgreens on the corner for some eggs. I literally stopped to turn into Walgreens and at the very last second, and I have no idea why decide to drive an extra block to a different store.

I grab my eggs really quick and end up in line behind a few people. The lady in front of my has a full cart and lets me in front of her. As I'm waiting for the lady in front of me to unload her groceries I can't help but take note of several things about her. At first I'm taken aback at my own reaction to her. The woman was probably in her 30's, very dirty short hair, not many teeth, very, very dirty Camel cig. t-shirt, and obviously very pregnant. She also seems to be a bit mentally handicapped. Then I notice what she has in her cart. Mainly spaghetti-os and other various canned foods. One loaf of bread and one gallon of milk. She holds back a few items in her cart until the cashier tells her how much is on her food stamps card. And then she tells him she doesn't have enough for the last cans in her cart. While he finishes the stuff on the counter, she finds out that she is $2.79 short. She frantically starts looking through her wallet which I noticed was empty of anything. Now, unless you have been super poor (which I have) and have tried to be able to buy enough food for a week with what meager money you do have (which I have) and found yourself in line without enough money with a long line behind you (which I have) and so frazzled and embarrassed about how you are going to pay (which I have), you might not understand what this poor woman was going through. Now here is where it gets strange for me. I NEVER EVER have cash in my wallet. Ever. Not usually even a quarter. I use my bank card only. But the other day I found three dollars in an old purse and stuck it in my wallet. So as I am standing in line I remember about the money and hand it to the cashier so this lady doesn't have to put back anymore food. But the strangest thing is not that I had money in my wallet, but that I had the EXACT amount she needed. So it sounds like a nice little story right? And you might say, "that was a lovely coincedence" but look at it this way.

1. One egg short? Come on.
2. Neighbor David ALWAYS has eggs
3. Why on earth when I was in such a hurry did I drive an extra block to buy eggs?
4. The lady in front of me let me cut in line (almost never happens)
5. I had $3 in my wallet. What? Me with actual currency?

God. God. God. That's the only logical answer. So looking back I kind of feel like I was God's puppet for about 20 minutes. And before anyone says great job for giving her three dollars, don't. I completely failed that woman. I've been kicking myself for the last 18 hours and just want to cry. God has completely blessed me and my family. Alex and I really struggled for a few years and now live comfortably. We don't struggle to pay our bills or to eat. All I gave that woman was three dollars and I was in too much of a hurry to stop and think and give her so much more. I should have taken her through the store and bought her some fresh fruit and vegetables and some actual meat. I should have loaded up a cart and found out if she had any other needs. If I am right, and she is handicapped, then there is a chance that someone has taken advantage of her because she was definitely pregnant. I did the bare minimum and I'm sick to death about it. God put me in the right place and the right time to take care of her and I didn't do enough. So please, watch for the "coincidences," stop hurrying, and take that extra step for someone.


  1. MAri, I love your tender heart. And while you may not have taken her around the store - at least that situation made you AWARE of what you "should" have or could have done. Maybe this was God's pre-test for something even bigger! Who knows! But either way, you were God's instrument to bless that woman. I'm sure she was feeling mighty embarrassed at not having enough for all of her measly groceries, and you were able to step in at just the right time. Keep your eyes open, there are many many more opportunities like that one that we Christians miss ALL the time because we are so self focused.

  2. Sorry to burst your bubble, honey but (I know this is harsh) GOD DOESN"T NEED YOU (I know, big idea)to do His work. You already know you had the $3 cash for just that purpose and while we know what else you could have done, God knows what NEEDED to be done. If God would have put the idea in your head at the time to take her through the store and get more than just the $3 extra of food I'm pretty sure you would have listened and if you didn't obey then you could beat yourself up about it. You obeyed when God called and will be ready in the future.

  3. I love what you did do for this lady Mari. Many others might have judged her: dirty, pregnant, cig t shirt, etc. You didn't judge the outside but looked at the heart, the inside. Love that Mari and I hope I would do the same.