12.18.2010

just because He loves you


Her hair hung down in limp and dirty blonde strands and a little girl Astair's age clung to her leg.

 I noticed but I was distracted.  Astair tugged on my arm and twirled in the fast food line.  She danced in circles around me, darting in between my legs, just escaping my grasp.  It was our mother-daughter date night and we chose Arby's.  But my little pixie just couldn't stand still.  Through the corner of my eye I noticed again the pair in front of us and I couldn't help but make the comparison between this mother and her daughter and me and my own.  It was then my eyes landed on the child's bare feet.  And my heart lurched inside me.  No child should be barefoot even in a mild Louisiana December.  

 Astair skipped out of the line and I went to retrieve her, even while I peered more closely at the girl.  Her blonde  hair was pulled back from her face with an office clip and she stared back at me with eyes that looked much too old for her little face.  Eyes that had seen too much of this world.  I smiled and she frowned, her big blue eyes solemn and distrustful.  The lady with the child stepped to the side and glanced at me for a moment.  She wore a plain white t-shirt with nothing underneath and I knew in that instant what she was.  I knew and it hurt my heart.  Wrenched my soul for her and her little girl.  I wanted to help her.  But I didn't want to offend her.  Or hurt her pride.  What if she rejected my help? My mind scrambled for a loving way to reach out to her.  How much had she paid for her meal?  Five dollars? One combo meal?  And what would the child eat?  

 The cashier was staring at me, waiting for my order and I fumbled through it, still desperate not to let this lady leave.  I ordered an extra sandwich and an extra drink and then I approached the woman and the child.  I smiled at her shyly, trying desperately to cover up my discomfort, hoping she wouldn't read it wrong.  I told her I had ordered more food than we needed and I would be so happy if she would accept some.  Her face looked relieved and her humble nod shamed all my selfish fears.  I wished I had bought more, so much more.  I wished I had noticed her earlier, had forgotten about myself for a moment and not been so concerned about her rejecting me.  

 Our food came and I let Astair give the bag to the little girl.  Astair walked up to her so innocently and sweetly, only too happy to share.  But the little girl frowned deeper and hid scared behind her mother.  If my heart wasn't already broken, that would have crushed it.  I could only imagine what this poor child had lived through.  And I wanted to judge the woman for putting her through it.  But I couldn't.  I couldn't.  Not knowing that Christ died for her, that He loves her, that maybe she's never known it.  I gave her a hug and quietly slipped a card into her hand.   A card that read the words "JUST BECAUSE GOD LOVES YOU".  And I smiled at the little girl in the woman's eyes and I whispered "He does, you know."

.....................................................................................................................................................................

I haven't written this to toot my own horn, or to bring attention to myself, because to be honest, I'm ashamed that I didn't give more.  Ashamed that I didn't notice her sooner, that I hesitated in fear of rejection.  I can only pray God will help me take my eyes off myself and notice the needs around me.  And when I see the needs, to rush to meet them.  Arms wide open, bleeding love as my Savior does. 

 Isn't that what Christmas is all about?

22 comments:

Mikalah said...

Beautiful.

Sammy said...

Thank you for sharing- I love this post. You are not tooting your own horn BUT you were obedient and that's just awesome.

Allie said...

Thank you for sharing. This is amazing. God gives us these opportunities and you were obedient. Do not be ashamed. He will give you more opportunities like this one because He knows you are sensitive to His voice. Bless you sweet sister!

Allie said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
a little bit vintage said...

Beautiful post, Joye. :) In those moments where we feel the most inadequate, God uses us to show His love. SO glad that you were so sensitive to the spirit. I'm sure you touched that woman and her child more than you know. I'm certain that you made her day...maybe even her month. :) Hubby and I had a similar situation about 4 years ago...right around Christmas. I knew that the spirit was prompting me to act and I KNEW that if I didn't I would regret it for the rest of my life. The look in his eyes was worth far more than the money we spent on the food. To see him be thrilled over a fruit cup...something my daughter has every day...brought tears to my eyes. God can use us in amazing ways if we will just humble ourselves and let Him. Blessing to you, friend. ;)

Smiles,
Rachel

Coby said...

Just beautiful and inspiring. I love how you look for ways to show God's love and are so sensitive to His spirit. Thank you for the example.

Lauren said...

I am sitting here with years streaming down my face. I've been in a similar situation and I let my fears get the better of me. I let my worry that I would hurt someone's pride let me walk away and do nothing but cry silently in my car and wonder what I should have/could have done. Thanking God for you tonight... and for loving that woman and her child...

PaisleyJade said...

Oh so beautiful Joye! I too struggle with thinking about how they will feel etc and so want to get past that point and just let Jesus ooze out of me no matter what. Thank you so much for sharing.

bethany@our{simple}life said...

what a sobering story. thank you for sharing - it's a reminder to me of when God breaks our hearts for the things that break his. and He does love them so very much.

Kristin said...

That was such a beautiful story, Joye. Thank you so much for sharing it! What you gave her, was love, and that is priceless. We all just want to know that we matter, that someone cares, that someone loves us.

Cynthia said...

That was beautiful.

Miranda said...

Thanks for sharing this, I really appreciate you posting this. Merry Christmas!!

Theresa @ Heavenly Glimpses said...

Thank you for sharing that beautiful story. I think I need some cards on hand like that, too! I'm curious, did you have them made and carry them in your purse or was is just the timing that you happened to have something like that handy? I love it. :)

Joyeful said...

Theresa- I had them made for our church to pass out wherever we see the need and I just love them! Makes it so easy to break the ice and show some love :)

katy said...

you were truly an instrument to that woman and her child's lives. thank you so much for sharing this story - it is touching and encouraging and it makes me want to go out and actually DO something and not just marvel. thank you. :)

annie said...

what a powerful story and a reminder to step outside ourselves this christmas. it's so hard sometimes to not be so concerned with ourselves, but with others. God used you as his hands and feet that day, and it's a lesson your daughter won't forget.

Valley Girl said...

I worked in a homeless shelter for a year while getting my masters in social work. We housed women, men and families. To see the kids running around playing, getting on the bus to head to school for the day from the homeless shelter...humbling. I think that actions speak louder than words. I wonder how long that woman stood in that restaurant with NO BODY doing anything until you came a long and took ACTION. I think in those situations it's not so much what you say to that person, but your actions that count. Someday that little girl will want so desperately to believe that there is good in the world. Thank you for showing her that it does indeed exist.

Hannah said...

This is so beautiful, Joye. I recently had a similar Walmart run-in and afterwards, as if He knew He'd need to keep my humility in check, the Lord so softly led me to wonder how many times I've missed sweet meetings like the one I had, like this one you've described.

My prayer for me, and now for you, is that we'd celebrate Christmas- and the joy and generosity of Christ's birth- all year long...that we'd see less of us and more of those precious little girls and fragile older ladies who just need to know how much He loves them.

Rachel Knoblich said...

If everyone would act on those little promtings from God the world would be such a better place. I have been in those situations before and felt the way you did, and did what God asked. I can't tell you the joy it brings me to do things like this. I love this sweet story...and I love your blog. Just beautiful!

a brilliant melody said...

This story really touched me. Makes me realize how much I could give..but I don't.

~Breeanna

Kristin Davis said...

Thank you so much for sharing that. Beautifully and simply stated, this reached deep into my heart. My lesson learned from this is all in the last paragraph, where you could have judged, but instead you loved. That's something I have to work on every day.

KJG said...

I love the way you love Jesus.

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