"And I will give you a new heart, and I will put a new spirit in you. I will take out your stony, stubborn heart and give you a tender, responsive heart. Let all that you do be done in love." ... Ezekiel 36:26, 1 Corinthians 16:14
Yesterday while sitting at my usual coffee shop table, a woman shifted her belongings and coffee at the door. She looked at me and said, "I'll be needing extra caffeine today. I'm a teacher and we're going on a field trip this morning with eighty kids."
"Eighty kids?!", I repeated, my eyes widening. "Oh dear."
She described more details and rolled her eyes about her fellow 2 teachers who place no reins on childish chaos. I shook my head, commiserated with her good-naturedly, then the Holy Spirit nudged me to tell her, "Bless you," as she left. So I did.
She paused and then smiled big and thanked me.
Afterward? I sipped my coffee and thought, "Wow. It's like this coffee shop has become my Village of Acquaintances. I get to let God use me in simple ways to bless strangers in my neighborhood."
Remember my post about how in The Long Winter someone--simply by opening their door twice--helped save the entire town of De Smet, SD? And how I want to be that sensitive to the Holy Spirit in my ordinary routine and thus encourage people, even unknowingly?
Well, I still want that. And now I have even crazier dreams, like, becoming a tiny fraction of this--
"As a result, people brought the sick into the streets and laid them on beds and mats so that at least Peter's shadow might fall on some of them as he passed by." .... Acts 5:15
Can you imagine if your shadow--or just being present---was the simple way through which God healed someone?
Oh my. How humbling that would be.
It costs a lot, though. I've actually known people who, in ways, are like this. Folks spend time with them and walk away feeling lighter, healed of heart hurts. But first the healers had to give up much--
saying whatever hurtful words they felt like speaking
arguing (when God was saying, hush)
viewing certain folks as a waste of time
letting fear keep them from obedience
Oh to let the Holy Spirit teach and change us to be like Him! And oh, how marvelous this softer heart rather than the previous one made of stone.
It's that new heart with a different beat that keeps us marching now. Not the booming, worldly rhythm, no! But the selfless beat which leads us to a whole other track--
--with a peace so palpable, healing, that the lost ones look and consider walking there, too, for oh! They're not certain at first, but wasn't that perhaps Jesus they spied walking alongside us, too?
"Whether you turn to the right or to the left, your ears will hear a voice behind you, saying, "This is the way; walk in it." ... Isaiah 30:21
"But now, O Lord, you are our Father; we are the clay, and you are our potter; we are all the work of your hand." ... Isaiah 64:8
"To love someone is to see him as God intended him." ... Fyodor Dostoevsky
So gorgeous, right? Found at Facebook--it's a bit of the Erie Canal in our previous Autumn Cottage town--
But guess what's coming our way this afternoon? --