Ever since the house blessing, I have shifted the way I see life. Instead of going through life assuming God only shows up when something good happens, I now feel God in every space, muscle, move, step, dialogue, breath, and moment. He's in it all. It's all His. And I look back on the last couple of years and feel as if I have experienced an awakening to this Truth. I type this as my two-year-old sits doe-eyed across from the television while she gnaws on her toenail, half her foot shoved contortionist-style in her mouth. Even in this what-is-wrong-with-her moment, God is here. And though I know that - I know He's everywhere, I often forget that. I find myself tra-la-la-ing or bah-humbugging through my day and then wham-o, I smack heavy and hard, face first into the take-your-breath-away God who was there all along.
And you just never know. You just never know when it's going to hit you or how or why.
For instance, a couple of months ago my parents upgraded their kitchen stove. I offered to put the old, and still very much working, stove on craigslist. I received a few leads, one of which has changed me forever.
Tasha recently moved with her young children from a women's shelter into a low-income apartment complex. The apartment management is less than managing, and Tasha has been without a stove since she moved in. She cooks all her family meals in the microwave. She found my stove post on craigslist and contacted me. I told her I would hold the stove for her, she would just have to pick it up. Except Tasha doesn't have a car, let alone a vehicle big enough to transport a stove. She said she'd ride the bus just to give me the money so that I would continue to hold the stove for her. I explained to her that the nearest bus stop is five miles away, and even if she could get here with the money, she would still need to get the stove to her apartment, eventually. That wasn't going to stop her. She was desperate. At one point she text me, "I would do anything - walk anywhere - to provide for my family. And we need this."
As you can imagine, at this point I had no intention of selling the stove to her. The stove was hers, a gift - God's provision, but we still had the issue of getting the stove to her.
I talked with Matt and we worked out a plan, thinking we could get the stove into my van, and deliver it to her over the upcoming weekend.
But before I could communicate that with her, she text me again, "Nevermind. My brother found us a stove. He is connecting it. Thank you anyway."
I text her back, praising God for the provision, and that was that. Or so I thought.
Within a day, she text me again. Except this time, it wasn't about the stove. She wanted to pray for me.
A STRANGER ON CRAIGSLIST, A NEAR HOMELESS WOMAN I HAVE NEVER MET, WANTED TO PRAY FOR ME - FOR ME?!
I didn't know what to do with that. Like really? Me? But. But. But you are the one who just left the shelter. You are the one living in some dump. You are the one willing to walk across the city for a stove you can't even carry home.
And you want to pray for me?
As my eyes filled with tears, I text her back. "You can pray for me. Some days I lose my temper with my kids. And I want to be more patient. Thank you. How can I pray for you?"
And that was the beginning of our friendship - our prayer-ship. Right there. Because of some stupid stove and craigslist.
You just never know.
It's been a couple of months since I met Tasha. We've still never really met, but we text often. This morning I woke to a text from her - one of my favorites so far. "Today is a day that the Lord has blessed us with so rejoice in it and give thanks to Him. Jesus loves you and so do I. Amen."
I will cherish that text. And I cherish Tasha. I've even wondered if she's real or if she's actually an angel.
Because God's in it all. Even craigslist and hand-me-down stoves.