Three Touches

My mind was overwhelmed!

“ Yak! Yak! Yakety-Yak! “ streamed a mob of multi-topical thoughts.

Out of the blue, one after another, these crazy, nonsensical, hopeless concerns paraded themselves into the forefront of my consciousness!

Looping in and out like late-night TV, these fear-filled thoughts rolled. Disbursed in between frets about family members’ health issues, loomed certain financial concerns. Then, rudely abrupt thoughts of the “impossibilities” of Salvation, for certain people for whom I’d been praying, gouged at my faith. Back-stabbing lies about other matters shouted for my immediate attention.

Temporary paralysis overtook me with a creeping sense of darkness closing about me.  I knew I needed to stop this onslaught or I’d be trapped by the despair that wanted to enslave ME!

His ability for my disability?   Why, sure!

Experience has taught me that what I put in my mind has an effect on what I think. As I made myself BE quiet, and directed my thoughts around the goodness of God, another voice rose up with a stronger directive, “Go to the post office and I will tell you what to do”.

While I drove, I meditated on the instructions in II Corinthians 10:5 where we are told,

3 For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war after the flesh:  4 (For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds;) 5 Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ;  6 And having in a readiness to revenge all disobedience, when your obedience is fulfilled.” 

Another version says, in part, “”demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself  up against the knowledge of God.”

Since those types of thoughts are not innocent, they need to be dealt with immediately and demolished! That’s exactly what occurs when they come in contact with The Word!

“Father God, help me get started!” I mumbled.

Still feeling like a churning mess inside, I forced my head up, took a deep breath and smiled. That was a start!

“Three touches” came to mind while I walked toward the Post Office. Three Touches?

Touch #1

Standing in the long line at the post office, one woman continued to hold the door for everyone. This unselfish act pushed her to the back of the line continually.  As I watched, it seemed that, not only was she losing her place in line, but that she was also “lost in thought”. My attention toward her did not stray as I opened my mailbox to retrieve my mail.    That’s often how God does it with me.  He sends me on an errand and if I am listening and respond, I find myself right where He needs me to be.

While ripping open my last letter, I heard, “Buy her some coffee.”

Really? Coffee?  All I had to figure out was whether God meant for me to actually take her out, or to give her some money.

She hadn’t yet rejoined the rest of us in the present so I couldn’t catch her eye. I checked my cash. Hmmm…. not that much, all told.  Softly stepping up beside her, I touched her shoulder as I offered, “Excuse me….  I believe God spoke to my heart to get you some coffee.”

Now I had her attention! Eyebrows inclined, she was fully engaged as her hand mechanically closed around the $10 I held her way. Her wide, inquiring eyes never left mine.

“Go get yourself some Starbucks…or … whatever you enjoy,” I whispered. “I’ve gotta run.  Be blessed”.

Her surprised delight fueled a huge, spontaneous smile. A barrage of quiet “thank you’s” followed me all the way to the exit.

Touch #2

Back in my vehicle, I prayed over her and then waited a few minutes.   The urge was unmistakable.  As I drove the 10 miles to a place I assumed I was to go, it became clearer that something else was in the wind.  Turning off the street into a parking lot, I found myself continuing to drive past the paved portion and stop the car out into the field beyond.

Weird but amusing.   Here I am sitting in a field, while there were perfectly good parking spaces in the lot behind me.  My inner radar alerted as I caught a glimpse of a slight figure pacing back and forth. Then this same figure started bobbing up. What was going on?

Blankets and coats on a fence. . . small boxes everywhere . . . other nondescript stuff blowing around in the wind.…all this activity afar off the wrought iron fencing behind the strip mall.  Strange stuff.   I needed some field glasses.   Although this individual as beyond my definitive vision, my spirit said, “Homeless woman”.

Staying observant, I waited and watched for a time. My mind began to crank!

“I wonder what I have in here that could be useful.”

Since my regular vehicle was down for the count, I was driving our old van. Most of it performs just fine, but the locking mechanisms are in dire need of replacement. This wasn’t the car in which I usually I kept my stash of food, clothing and other supplies, and I wasn’t certain what I had in the back – OR – if I was going to be able to get to it!

Then I remembered!   I had placed a bag of clothing in the middle section of the van yesterday, and it just so happened that it WAS accessible.   In a grocery bag that I had forgotten to remove the day before, I uncovered apple juice, crackers and a few other items.  I searched the van….no money.  My other vehicle always had a stash of $1’s and $5’s.  Oh well.

Brandishing the few one dollar bills left in my purse, I closed the doors and slowly drove across the field and onto the truck-delivery section behind the stores. What would I say?

The individual didn’t seem to take any notice of my arrival or when I got out and slammed-shut the heavy sliding door. She seemed to be in her own world.  If ever a person personified one of Disney’s old-witch type characters, it was her!  I’ve seen a lot, but this was rather shocking.

I imagine she was in her 80’s, but maybe not. Who could know but God? Leathery wrinkles vouched for her time in the harsh weather, making her eyes nearly invisible. Missing lower teeth became evident. Bizarre and low crackly rasping sounds composed her “voice.”

“Help me, dear Father…”   The stench was real.

She didn’t even see me. Maybe it was because she was accustomed to not being “seen”.  She appeared to be rummaging through old boxes looking for food.  Other boxes seemed to house her personal effects with other unidentifiable weathered items.

She came-to and re-entered the here-and-now as I spoke slowly and quietly. The apple juice caught her attention!  Filthy hands, marked by extremely long, thickened, pointy, fungus-laden nails, snatched it from me.

“This is the good stuff!” she exclaimed hoarsely.

I brought the other items out and showed her the clothing. A few more intelligible words escaped her lips.  As suddenly as she had emerged, she slipped back into her other world, all the while mumbling and referring to elusive things, and talking to people, obviously not present.  I wanted to scoop her up and take her to a safe place, but where?

My heart hurt. This just wasn’t right!

Prayer rolled out of me and she became quiet while I laid hands on her and prayed. That was it, her personality became totally engulfed, once again, in her other world.  People might call her crazy.   Could it be that she was coping with this world’s rejection the best she could?

A worker of the Harvest was desperately needed here. I asked God to send one and I left in tears.

Touch #3

I was headed home when the desire for some coffee all but overtook me. I do believe the car took over!   I found myself turning to access a coffee shop drive- thru when, “The baby needs milk” crossed my thinking.

Wouldn’t you know it! Once the turn was completed, I was confronted with a poor little family of four huddled on the corner.  Two babies in wobbly strollers caught my eye.  A dirty little mama crouched in between them.  A thin man held a sign stating he lost his job and place to live.

There was no place to park nearby. I found refuge under a small tree across the shopping mall’s parking lot.  It was a long walk back in the cold wind.   The family saw me coming and the woman stood to meet me.  Scroungy, well-worn clothing was too thin for the late afternoon wind.  She shivered, embarrassed and subdued.

Of course, they spoke no English. My makeshift Spanish helped me find out that her name was Luisa.  The babies needed leche, por favor.   As there were no grocery stores nearby, a few fast-food places had to suffice.  I pointed to Subway and she nodded.  Food and drink obtained, I put my arm around her and prayed over her as we walked back.  She hung her head, cried and reached over to kiss me.  All I could do was hug her and talk in reassuring tones during the long walk back.  Her husband held his hand over his heart and bowed his head – “gracias, gracias.”

The little ones kicked happily when they spotted the bottles of milk….

What can I say?   The babies needed milk.

And those “Three Touches?”  Yes, I reached out, but you know what?  The touches weren’t just from me to these needy folks.

I returned home energized and well aware of the Power of God to enter into any situation and diffuse the darkness.

Those Three Touches were mine as well. . .