Thursday, April 10, 2008

I was thinking last week how I avoid my controversial side in this blog. And believe me, I've got some ultra-controversial thoughts inside me. Sometimes I think, "Shouldn't I share that side of me in my blog,too?" Other times I already know what could happen--half of you could shake your head with pity then click away, never to return.

I know how Christians can be. I've been one for 37 years. And well, like I said, I know how we all can be.

But today I will be bold and tell you a controversial thing which will lead up to a very simple story which will ruffle no feathers. So don't click away too early, all right?

Back when I was 22, Tom and I were attending a charismatic church, one very different than the kind I'd grown up in. And at 22, I was a mother of a baby, a happy wife and all excited about God and Life. And in the midst of all that, one day it was as though I heard God clearly say (but not out loud), "Debra, always stay ready to raise the dead."

Really. I truly think that's what He told me in that special non-verbal, just-in-your-gut way. And I've never forgotten it. In fact (now this is where you might just run away, screaming), sometimes when I hear on the news that someone young has passed away, my first thought will be, "Well, why didn't someone just raise her from the dead?" Then I think, "Oh yeah. Probably nobody thought about it."

Just sometimes I think that, ok? Not all the time. Hey...

Anyway....... Here's the simple story part. Today the two young boys who live in the apartment behind us came home from school to discover their mom not home. I could hear them trying to open their door and after awhile, they knocked at our door. One boy asked if he could use our phone and I said sure, then invited him in and handed the phone to him. He called his mom and right away asked her, "Mom, where are you?"

Basically, that tore my heart out. He didn't sound scared, exactly, but rather tired and sad about being forgotten.

I've said a lot of prayers for that family. I know it's incredibly hard to be a single mom, but when she yells horrid things at her three kids, things I would rather die than say to a child, well, I pray harder and keep my eyes open to ways to ease her stress.

But I'm so not good at that. It comes so easily to some people, but I'm just rather hopeless in that 'helps area' unless God gives me a specific idea (usually with a little shove, too, what with the occasional leftover Curse of Shyness I lived under for years).

So the young boy (he's around 11) left and I just felt sad and tried not to think unkind thoughts about his mom, since unkind thoughts help no one. And then I thought oh! I wish I had some cookies or cake to offer those boys. But as usual there were none because I have no will power, especially when I'm alone as I have been this week, so I don't keep them in the cupboards as a temptation (because I always give-in).

But I glanced around and saw that I had two oranges in the fruit bowl and so--after pushing aside some shyness and ridiculous reasoning, I grabbed the oranges and a bag and took the oranges and gave them to the boys, saying they could eat them while they wait for their mom and that I wished I had cookies or cake to offer them.

They thanked me then I came inside and all these 27 years later, this is what I heard God say, "Debra, always stay ready to help the neighbor children."

And I smiled and thought, "Yes, I can do that. But only with Your help, because it will require a miracle for me to keep desserts in the cupboard. :)


Anonymous said...

Have you ever thought that maybe God put you and Tom in that little apartment for this very reason? You've heard how much they need your prayers...and maybe you are the only soul on earth praying for this family. God sure does work in mysterious ways!!


Brenda@CoffeeTeaBooks said...

I know, I tried freezing cookies but then I discovered that I LIKE frozen cookies. :)

Here is something that works now. I make the cookie dough and then put it on a cookie sheet like I am going to bake it. Instead, I put them in the freezer and set the timer for 30 min. Then I pop the frozen dough in a freezer bag with instructions written on it.

When needed, just put the frozen cookie dough on the cookie sheet, let set out about ten or fifteen minutes while you are preheating the oven... then pop them in to bake. It may take just two or three extra minutes.

Last minute cookies without temptation. Well, until after you have baked them.

Hilmarose said...

actually a VERY sweet story and NOT in the slightest bit controversial in my opinion! Just VERY SWEET!

Kristi in the Western Reserve said...

Oh, Debra, I'm so glad you were able to do that. We are supposed to be God's hands on earth, doing his work, and your kindness to these children was certainly that.They may always remember it. You may give them another picture of life, yes, even from something as simple as the gift of two oranges.