One Saturday evening, my husband and I were dining at a restaurant with our church Elder and his wife. In the middle of our discussion, I noticed a young woman enter and sit quietly. She began sipping a drink, looking around her cautiously. Our eyes met briefly. My initial thought was that she appeared angry and lonely.
As I returned to the dinner conversation,the atmosphere was different. I felt an urgency “in my spirit” to speak to this young woman with words of comfort. I resisted this thought. I convinced myself that she would not welcome the outreach. I even thought, “Why me?” Besides, outreach or praying with others is more convenient in church, at the altar.
While arguing with my conscience (my spirit) the young lady arose abruptly and left the table. I panicked. Guilt flowed through my mind and I began to pray that the Lord would give me another opportunity to reach out to this individual with whatever kind words I was prompted to speak. I knew I had to move quickly or I would miss the opportunity. I commented to my husband that the hour was late and asked if he was ready to leave. As we walked toward the restaurant exit, I canvassed the area and prayed “Father, give me one more chance to obey. Please let this young lady be in this place.” To my dismay, I could not locate her. My sense of regret was overwhelming.
Suddenly, as I turned toward the exit door, there she was sitting on a stool. I walked over to her (while praying for words from the Lord) and leaned to speak in her ear that God loved her and that whatever she was going through was going to be all right. She sat straight up very stiff, almost like a statue. I suggested that she might want to go home and spend some time with the Lord. This stranger looked up at me, and then fell into my arms, weeping. She told me that she thought God had forgotten her. She had just lost her job and quit volunteering as secretary for her church. She continued weeping uncontrollably as I walked her to the ladies’ room. I encouraged her that God was with her and that He would see her through. I prayed for this young woman right there in the restaurant bathroom.
As ambassadors for Christ, we are always on call to minister, edify, and support others. The methods and situations may vary depending on issues and circumstances. What is paramount to remember is, not unlike Jesus, we must live our lives “in readiness,” focused on the things of the Lord.
As earthly vessels assigned to do His work, we are in need of instructions and direction daily by reading His Word, and seeking the Comforter to guide us to all knowledge and understanding. We must worship, pray and commune in quiet time, seeking daily instruction. Jesus stayed focused by listening to God who helped Him accomplish His tasks (“And when He had sent the multitudes away, He went up into a mountain apart to pray: and when the evening was come He was there alone” (Matthew 14:22-23). Jesus communed with God, alone, before and after completing many acts of service. It is a small thing to ask of
us, but it can lead to even greater works. Learning how to avoid being too busy to minister to others is a lifestyle choice and involves more than Sunday church and Wednesday bible study. It is deliberate willingness to obey when prompted to reach out and touch another with support, counsel and guidance. It is a conscious openness to situations that provide opportunities to spread the good news of the Gospel. It is a deliberate, unconditional commitment to represent Jesus, live in the light and follow His path in love.
Theresa V. Wilson, M.Ed., CPBA is a freelance writer and author of The Writer’s Guide to Achieving Success: A Workbook for Implementing the Plan. She and her husband, Dr. J Douglas Wilson, CPBA, provide both HELPS Ministry leadership training and “Writing as a Ministry” seminars. They are ordained ministers of Kingdom Life Church, Baltimore under Pastor Michael Phillips. For additional information,visit www.writersinthemarketplace.org or http://Twitter.com/WritersCoach21