You know those “I want you to step out in faith and do something bold” thoughts that whisper into your heart and mind in the most unusual moments, and though seemingly out of the blue and sometimes even sounding incongruous to your ears, you can’t deny you do recognize the Holy Spirit’s voice in it?
Do you, um…immediately follow those instructions to boldly shine His heart in a way you hadn’t imagined? (I wish I could say I always hop to it! Though I do see myself getting there faster than I used to… ) 🙂
Or do you find yourself hedging a bit. Trying to talk yourself into thinking… “That isn’t really You, Lord, is it?” Or…“If I do that, so and so is just going to be embarrassed/put off/run away/laugh mirthlessly…”
I was ordering a scan and print of a recent Autumn portrait drawing at the local store the other morning, there much earlier than I typically am so to be sure to get the clerk who really knows her stuff, when one of those thoughts began edging round the corners of my mind.
Another customer, a woman of about 73-ish, nicely dressed, hair just so, came alongside me as we were discussing the piece. Her pretty, but careworn face struck me as she leaned in to look, exclaimed how much she liked the drawing and how something in it just “spoke” to her. And in between offering her thoughts about how the card version was looking, agreeing with me about making it a little smaller, centered…she confided a bit of her life. How she was caregiver for her husband, how he was becoming worse, and it was getting harder and harder for her to take care of on her own. How he couldn’t be left alone, but she had someone there right now so she could run a quick errand. It wasn’t complaining so much as just a weariness and a discouragement coming through, stranger to stranger.
“I know how hard it is,” I sympathized softly, having recently been caregiver to an elderly, bedridden loved one for most of a year.
Since she kept talking about my artwork with enthusiasm, I gave her one of my business cards and told her how I enjoy creating pieces that tell our “stories.” She said, “Oh, let me show you my baby…”
My mind immediately went to grandbabies, and I was so glad I hadn’t talked about loving to draw children when she popped her phone into my hands. For there was the most adorable little pup…all big brown eyes and variations of furry brown and white streaks. I don’t do animals much, but this one I knew I could draw…if she ever wanted.
Rung up before me for her simple purchase, she turned to leave. And that’s when the thought clearly formed a message inside me: “Give her one of your card prints of this Autumn drawing…” it said.
She was walking away to other parts of the store then, as I stood there silently, debating back and forth. What if she thinks I’m nuts? What if she is offended (by being offered something for nothing and no reason)? What if she was just being polite and would never really want this? What if…what if…what if…
And then she was gone.
The clerk was chattering away at me even as these thoughts had and I made myself focus on the purchase. A few minutes later, walking toward the front entrance I apologized to the Lord for missing it if He had really wanted to use this to encourage and uplift a stranger, let her know somehow that He was thinking of her… is helping her in her situation…will give her strength. Could a simple gift of drawing do all that? Well, more than the drawing was the action, He reminded me. And her response wasn’t up to me and shouldn’t hold me back.
I remembered something then that I heard on a Christian program recently. How God uses our creativity, our artwork – even as simple as a stick figure! — to bring healing in ways we do not imagine. And I am always praying for His Glory to shine through my drawings in a deeper way than I even know. I had prayed for that as I drew this one, asking Him to help me make it look the way I envisioned, because I hadn’t even been sure I could do it. I knew He had done exactly that…it isn’t hard for me to know, it is only Him helping me to create.
“I’m sorry, Lord,” I reiterated. Even as I said it, I thought how the woman had seemed to be looking for something else to buy when she’d left the printing center. Possibly...she could be at the checkout by the door. Looking up…there she was, moving towards the entrance step by step with me.
“Susan,” I called, remembering she’d told me her first name. “I’d like to give you something…”
Taking the greeting card size drawing from me, she paused, brushed at her eyes. “Oh, now I’m going to cry,” she said. I wanted to say more, something like “I think God wants to encourage you,” but just couldn’t get it out. I simply repeated, “I know how hard it is to be a caregiver…”
She hugged me, exclaimed she wanted to frame it because she loves to have pretty things around, walked out with me. Parting at the door, I think a bit of wonder anointed us both.
And a prayer in heart… Thank you God, for putting wonder in our hands, beautiful and shining as a pumpkin aglow, to place in someone else’s hand…from You. And for arranging our days according to your divine appointments, right on time.
I still wish I’d said a bit more…but then, God speaks volumes even in our wordless moments. And I prayed again… Lord, make this drawing a source of Your light and hope and encouragement in her home…
Like to see the Autumn drawing I wrote about here?
Won’t you skip on over with me to my Picture it in Pen and Ink blog to see the drawing portrait of this storybook door front (from above photo)…
And…to a Day after Thanksgiving Special I’m offering there!
Just click here…
© Pam Depoyan
Do you have a story of following a God whisper on a step of faith?
I’d love to hear about it in my comments!
pen and ink, “Finn’s Favorite” (boy with pumpkin) : mine. (Please do not copy without permission. See my copyright info button on the sidebar. )
Looking for a unique Christmas gift?
Prints of “Finn’s Favorite” and more available now at my online gallery blog http://pamdepoyanblog.wordpress.com