March 31st, 2010
Almost to the finish line. This must be the hardest week of Lent for me.
And yet, and yet.
I made a mandatory trip to the supermarket to get four cartons of canned drinks. It was a morning when I felt a deep tiredness, a leadened heart. I loaded the boot, and headed to the lift with the empty trolley, whose wheels kept straying in opposite directions, to the supermarket below. Suddenly, a fellow shopper came up nd offered to take my trolley.
“So you won’t have to make another trip,” she said, smiling.
I thanked her, my mind exhausted and distracted. When I sat behind the wheel, I suddenly marvelled at the unexpected kindness that had come out of the blue from a stranger, and realized the act for what it was. An angel in the heartlands! Performing an act of smallest kindness, but one that saved my tired body a taxing trip down the lift, and awakened my spirit to the work that God was doing around me. I realized I was under His grace.
Then came the news of the sudden death of an old church aquaintance. Though I didn’t know him well, we shared mutual friends, memories on the mission field, he was a brother-in-Christ . It made everything pale in comparison, and I wondered how I could be so embroiled in petty problems and miss the forest for the trees.
This morning I met up with a girlfriend who needed some support in finding her son’s teacher in the school my son also studied in. To cut a long story short, everything worked out and later in the car, we got to talking about angels. She said I was her angel because I was here for her at this critical moment and helping with Stanley’s school issues.
How ironic. I never felt less of an angel than at that precise moment. There I was, discouraged, lacking vision, down in the valley, unable to minister out of being. And yet.
Was God truly using me to help a friend in greater need? How could He? Through nothing of my own effort. Just by being there. Because I happened to be there and was spending time with her, and being used of the moment.
No preparation on my part, just a brokenness, a desire to surrender to Jesus all my burdens, a wanting to see things from His point of view. All that was needed was God’s grace, His timing, which was all arranged by Him anyway.
In the end, my friend said, when life with all its problems come crashing in, you just have to live one day at a time. Then things that are eating at you won’t matter so much, or they go away, in light of living each day for itself.
And that’s what surrender really is. Living each moment yielded up to the Father, and always, always, never forgetting that attitude of gratitude.