They brushed past us, hurrying on their way to the bookstore… …to the coffee cart….to the restrooms… to the parking lot!
A few smiles and hasty “excuse-me’s” were the only limited links of exchange we received.
Getting to know anyone in a large church is challenging, and after we had attended our church for a few months, we were still feeling isolated.
We had reached out, given out our phone number, made invitations to our home, to lunch, to coffee – you name it. No takers.
I attended a guitar class for women and my husband went to the men’s meeting. People seemed to be wrapped up in their own lives.
It was very odd – nothing was clicking!
After a several Sundays, I decided to begin by making friends with a couple of the greeters. I stood back and observed one Sunday, and although I am not sure just how, they seemed to know or recognize a great number of the people coming into the church.
After discussing things with God, in prayer, an idea struck and I was on a mission! Stopping by a name brand coffee shop, I picked up several $5 gift cards with nice covers. In some small blank greeting cards, I wrote:
Let’s have coffee! Met me at Starbuck’s – I’m buying.
Be sure to bring your Bible! Can’t wait!
I prayed over them, and then I tucked a gift card inside, sealed the envelopes and handed some cards to one of the greeters. I let her know what was inside and asked her to hand them out to people who looked like they needed encouragement. The only thing I asked her to say was, “Someone left this for you”
After a few weeks of this, one of the greeters pulled me aside. Excitedly relaying some unbelievable stories and encounters with the people who had received the gift cards, she was almost beside herself! She was happy and breathless all at once. The greeter was amazed at the blessing this small action on my part had evoked in others. The other greeters wanted to help too!
I kept it up with two to three cards a week, for while. One week, the greeter refused to take the cards. She told me she wasn’t allowed to do this any longer. She looked sullen, eyes downcast; She didn’t offer any explanation, so I didn’t ask.
I noticed one of the pastors watching her. Hmmmm…..
After that moment, this particular greeter was only stiffly friendly toward me. Needless to say, I was saddened.
What happened? I don’t’ know for sure. For me, discouragement was hard to avoid.
I came to grips with the fact that even if it was only for a small season, I did what I felt, led by God, to do. The outcome is in His hands.
All in all, I was comforted just knowing that many people had been the recipients of God’s love in the form of an unexpected surprise accompanied by encouragement.
God has Plan B and I will wait for His directive. He always gives me clever plans for making investments in people’s lives.
In the meantime, my advice to anyone else would be not to over-think, otherwise nothing will be accomplished!
Go ahead and do what your hand finds to do!
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This post is shared at Hazel’s Tell Me a Story Blog Party
This post is also Linked with Michelle’s Hear it on Sunday Use it on Monday