Pause

A frazzled young mother struggles to care for her two small children in the middle of a hospital lobby. The little baby cries, tiny chest heaving up and down, unwilling to be consoled. The toddler runs around the weary mother who finally gets a hold of her to clean her up. There’s baby stuff everywhere and the remnants of a meager and now cold meal sitting on the table next to her. She looks exhausted. She looks worn.

Oh, how our hearts leap to our throats as we watch this situation unfolding before us. There’s a tug on our hearts to do something. Oh, but we brush it aside.

No, that’s weird. What could I possibly do? Offer to hold her baby? Yeah, no. She’d probably think I’m a crazy person. No, I’m just going to mind my own business. After all, no one else seems to be noticing. 

And so we continue sitting across from this weary young woman and her precious babies, sticking our faces further into the Bible sitting in our laps.

No, focus on what you’re studying. Stop worrying about them. She’s fine.

But clearly, she isn’t. Our gaze is pulled slowly upward from the beautiful Words sitting in our laps to the beautiful opportunity standing before us. We watch as the young mother bounces her tiny baby on one side while she hurriedly attempts to clean up the space around her. The toddler, in her own little world, twirls in circles around their little space, blanket in hand, oblivious to the grown-up worries of her burdened mother. We watch, hand to heart, hoping to still the nudging, hoping to quiet the silent yet deafening whisper, “GO!”

Just hold on one second, God! Am I really supposed to reach out to this woman? I mean, things aren’t as simple as they were when Jesus walked the earth. I want to help her. But she’s going to think I’m weird and intrusive. 

Again, the deafening whisper, the weighty heart-tug.

Okay, I get it. I heard You. I’m going. 

We slowly rise to our feet, unsure of whether our mouths will know how to pick up where our feet come to a halt.

Hi! Um, I was just wondering if maybe you'd like some coffee? 

The pounding of our hearts replaces the deafening whisper as we wait for a response. And then the moment of relief as we hear these shocked but grateful words coupled with brimming eyes:

YES. Yes, I would love some coffee. 

And at once, like the breaking of a dam, joy overcomes. Joy abounds. Joy overwhelms. Because we were sensitive to the nudging, we were obedient to the whisper. Because that heart-tug was just the smallest fraction of the love of Christ for us.

So we walk on over to Starbucks and get in line, completely unsure of how to buy coffee for a complete stranger. Café jargon spills from our lips. We pray as we wait.

God, wow. Just, wow. That You would make me move like that. That You would help me see people like that. That You would use me like that. Help me. I don’t know how to do this. 

The bubble bursts:

Venti vanilla latte! 

Hands shaking, heart pounding, we grab the hot beverage and start walking back to that beautiful opportunity to share God’s love – the opportunity packaged in weariness, exhaustion, and worry.

We sit. We talk. We hold this sweet mother’s precious baby as she spills her heart over an untouched vanilla latte. Clearly, it wasn’t coffee she needed. It was time. It was conversation. It was sincerity. It was love.

And then these words, like water to a desert soul:

I'm guessing you're religious?

Unsure of how to respond:

Uh, yeah. I mean, well. I'm a Christian.

And then:

Yeah, I know.  

That Christ would be seen in us… nothing could ever mean more. Not in a million years. The only thing that could ever top that is seeing Him face-to-face and hearing these long awaited words fall from His lips, “Well done.”

Friends, could it be that we were made for more than being comfortable? Could it be that we were made to step outside our comfort zones for the sole purpose of loving others with an out-of-this-world kind of love? Could it be that we were made to see that which the world refuses to recognize?

Could it be that we were made to leave work long after we’ve clocked out simply to talk to people? Could it be that we were made to miss our rides home in order to encourage another soul? Could it be that we were made to do so much more than remain in our own little bubbles, in our own little communities?

Is it possible that we were created with a “pause” feature imbedded into our very DNA? A feature that would enable us to pause for the sake of another, to offer our listening ears and sturdy shoulders, to see that which the world does not?

When he went ashore he saw a great crowd, and he had compassion on them, because they were like sheep without a shepherd. And he began to teach them many things. | Mark 6:34

Yes.

It’s not merely possible, it’s an undeniable Truth.

May we welcome the interruptions life brings. May we selflessly invest in the beautiful opportunities laid at our feet. May we not only be hearers and students of the Word, but DOERS of the Word. May we be willing to pause, to see people in their circumstances, to pour out the love of Christ regardless of how inconvenienced it may leave us.

Oh, that Christ would be seen in us! Oh, that He would use these hands and feet for His glory and renown!

Jesus, we’re here, we’re ready, we’re willing.

Use us. 

But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves. For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man who looks intently at his natural face in a mirror. For he looks at himself and goes away and at once forgets what he was like. But the one who looks into the perfect law, the law of liberty, and perseveres, being no hearer who forgets but a doer who acts, he will be blessed in his doing. | James 1:22-25

15 thoughts on “Pause

  1. Wow… Great story….loved how it played out with your thoughts( it is like you can see my thought!) and what a glorious response …. You were the light in this dark world.thanks

    1. Thanks for the encouragement, Mercy! Glad to hear you enjoyed this post. Giving all glory to my Jesus – all by Him, all for Him. What an incredible thing that He has repurposed us broken vessels as vessels of honor! What a humble joy to be HIS light in this world!

    1. Yes, precisely! It’s a lofty goal, but not an unattainable one with Christ. He commands us to be doers, so we know He must also equip us to be such as well. Scarlet, thank you for always supporting this ministry & encouraging our writers. You are such a blessing to us! 🙂

    1. Thanks for the encouragement, friend! 🙂 And glad you too were encouraged! He deserves all the glory! Thankful He puts up with our stubbornness & helps us walk in obedience to His will.

  2. Your article was moving and quite convicting. We as Christians battle inside ourselves when the quiet voice of the Holy Spirit whispers to us. That was my daughter-in-law you helped that day. It meant the world to her. She greatly appreciated your thoughtfulness, compassion, time and effort. It sure stirred my heart to live the way James spoke “faith without works is dead.” Thank you so much for being present to Him, listening to Him, and obeying His call to action.

    1. Hi Jeff! First of all, I apologize for the delayed response – I only recently saw your comment! Thank you so much for the encouragement. Glory to God for the conviction & teaching He brings! You are so right about that “internal battle.” It seems odd that we should experience such a thing when we know the Lord, but it just goes on to prove that our flesh is weak. Thankful for the Truth that in Him, we are strong & victorious & have been PURPOSED for good works! I’m so thankful to have met Erin and the girls – thankful the Lord taught me this lesson through three beautiful blessings! Praying for y’alls family! Thank you again, for taking the time to encourage my heart with your kind words. May we be moved to action for His glory always! Blessings in Christ!

  3. I know that mother and her two babies. She was waiting to hear some much needed good news about HER mother. So glad that God spoke to you and gave her a few moments of relief through you. God bless you and God bless that precious family who I love dearly!

    1. Hi Luella,
      Thanks for stopping by! Praising God for that good news! I am constantly floored by the power & providence of God – constantly floored by the fact that He so genuinely cares for us & so intently listens to our prayers. I’m thankful the Lord spoke me into action that day too – He is always at work, always teaching us! What a blessing! Thankful to be used by Him, for Him! May we be sensitive to His leading always!

  4. Becky,

    Thank you for the write up, and your generous, yet subtle act. The woman you met here is my wife, and those are our daughters. My wife was there waiting for her mother to get some tests done, with results due the next day. She called me and told of y’all’s encounter shortly after, and about how surprised she was by the kind heartedness a stranger had shown her. I can tell you that you made her day, and sincerely lifted her spirits by your sweet gesture. It is extremely heart warming, and uplifting to have even complete strangers care for each other’s well being in times of obvious stress. I was unable to be there with her and our girls due to work, but I do thank you very much for taking the time to check on her, and offer her a moment of your time.

    I would also like to give you a small update as to how her mom is doing, because we do strongly believe in the power of prayer, and appreciate yours during this time. This is my MILs third bout of cancer, and while its recurrence has been discouraging, our faith has never wavered. We have heard you can only beat cancer by staying determined and positive, which has been hard for my MIL to do with the unexpected passing of my FIL a year and a half ago. But while she has become tired of the fight, we have always done everything possible to lift her up. Our daughters have been a true blessing in this regard, because they have given her a little spiritual uplifting, and something to want to be around for. Well last Friday we received the excellent news that the chemo has worked extremely well, even better than the doctors were realistically hoping for, and they will be able to remove the tumor!!!! It was in a tricky location, but due to its size now, they will be able to remove it. We continue to be greatful for the wonderful medical services she has at MD Anderson, and hope this will be a last time to go through all of this.

    I just want to thank you from the bottom of my heart for helping my wife when she was in need of simple kind gesture. I know we all struggle with getting out of our shell, especially when it comes to religion in today’s PC world, but your kind act did more than you know. We continue to welcome any and all prayers for my MIL, but again, just want to thank you for your actions that day.

    God bless,

    Marques Kibodeaux

    1. Hi Marques!
      First, I want to apologize for replying so late – I just recently saw your comment! Thank you so much for the update on your MIL! I (and several others) have been praying for her/y’all since I met your family last week. I’ve been wondering how things turned out and was SO thrilled to see the good news! Praise the Lord! I worked in Adult Leukemia for a few years and am now working in the OR, so I understand the weight of receiving such a positive report. I have shed many a happy tear with patients/families in these joyful moments! Praising God for the strength He has given your MIL to persevere through these trials & for the strength He has given y’all to walk beside her as she fights this battle. Your MIL is truly blessed to have such a great support group. I’m also thankful she has your daughters to keep her smiling – what a special blessing from the Lord 🙂

      When I first read your comment, my jaw just dropped. Thank YOU for taking the time to encourage me with your words & to update me! Your family was such a blessing to me! I only wish I had gotten to spend some more time with them and actually help more. Thankful the Lord teaches us through these situations and thankful He allows us to be His hands and feet on this earth. My prayer going into this situation was that He would be glorified and that Erin’s heart would be encouraged. Thankful to know the Lord answered both of those prayers. Please give Erin my regards! I always look around to see if she’s in the Park when I’m there 🙂 Will definitely continue to keep your family in my prayers! Please do keep me updated and let me know how I can be praying for y’all more specifically. Again, thank you for stopping by and encouraging my heart. Praising God for His truly marvelous working in y’alls life! Praying that you get to see more of His power, more of His faithfulness, more of His love in the coming days!
      In Christ,
      Becky

  5. This is absolutely beautiful, and exactly what I needed to hear this afternoon. Thank you so much for sharing what God laid on your heart, Becky!

    1. All glory to God, Jennykur! I’m just thankful He gives us a little nudge (sometimes, a giant shove) so that we can be used for HIS purposes! May we not only have “ears to hear,” but also eyes to see the world, the people around us!

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