There are some things you can’t shake. Then there are other things you don’t want to shake because you know if you just “make it go away” you’ll miss the nugget of truth… The lesson to be learned.
I am mid-lesson, trying to determine what it means to be generous- now. What it means to open myself up to the hurting- now. Now, after being one of many scam artist victims in my community.
A Scam Artist and An Answer to Prayer?
I saw “Mindy” looking at her phone, talking to herself. She seemed to be fighting back tears as she closed her eyes to pray. Mindy was one table away from my family one Friday night at Chick-fil-A. I couldn’t help but wonder what was going on. Did she need help? A ride?
I went over and asked… She said, “I was just praying.”
“I work for a Christian radio station,” I said.
“Well of course you do!” Mindy responded (somewhat sarcastically.)
She invited me to sit with her and she shared a story of despair. Her ex-husband was supposed to come a couple of hours ago to bring her a $300 check. She was working two jobs, barely making it because of her baby’s medical expenses. Her child has kidney problems and has been close to kidney failure. Saturday would bring another trip to the hospital if her husband did not come with the money to pay for her baby’s medicine. She said she was a single mom of three.
Churches too had failed her, she said, because they gave to those in their own congregations. “The system” said she made too much money to need help.
I listened. There was little I could “do” because she said she lived a couple of hours away and I was unfamiliar with ministries close to her home. I reminded her that God is the God who Sees (Genesis 16:13) and He has not abandoned her. She allowed me to pray for her and I slipped her a small amount of money.
As we got up from our prayer a woman met us and said, “I just felt the Lord wanted me to give this to you.” It was cash and a pile of Chick-fil-A gift cards.
was acted overwhelmed. She said, “You just prayed God would show up in a big way. This is it. We JUST prayed!!”
I praised God and was filled with joy!
Only problem is it turns out “Mindy” has shared variations of this story 100s of times over the course of the last several years in the Raleigh, North Carolina metro area. Mindy has been arrested numerous times on everything from child abuse to drugs. One local Christian family had even taken Mindy into their home for a few months to share the Gospel with her and give her a fresh start. As of last check Mindy was in a rehabilitation facility. I attempted to contact Mindy to send her a Christmas card. So far it has been a dead end.
Open My Eyes
Just a few weeks before my meeting with Mindy I asked God to open my eyes to needs around me- to share the Gospel and to help with tangible needs. Mindy was the answer to my prayer. God was using me and I was able to share His hope. It brought me such JOY! I asked many to pray for Mindy she would draw close to God as she now could see God cared for her.
God, did you lead me to Mindy? Was that YOUR voice? Am I simply gullible and lack wisdom? If You lead me to her, it doesn’t make sense! Why?! Did I just give her drug money?
“Your heart was right” People tell me. Deep down I just want to know-that-I-know God’s voice. Can I discern well?
They are ALL out asking right now since it’s the holidays. I could give myself bankrupt today without much effort. It’s the season to give!
And yet I’m timid- again- but don’t want Satan to win the battle for my eyes to see the needs around me.
How do YOU determine which individuals to share the Gospel with or give to financially?