Yesterday I had the urge for some home cooked food.
Cabbage, corn bread, candied yams, baked macaroni and cheese, and fried chicken.
People kept on saying I looked as if I couldn’t cook, so I almost believed them. Then I tasted my cooking. Not like it tasted when I was cooking regularly, but, my baby the picky eater ate and enjoyed.
Anyway. I needed to run to the store. It was cold yesterday. I didn’t want to have my baby on the bus, so when I see the sister God has given me walking into church, I let sis know the game plan. My daughter was asking to stay anyway. Sis agreed to keep my bouncing daughter who wanted to stay in church another service while I get dinner started. And I was off.
Fortunately for me I no longer live in a food desert. Food deserts in Chicago are marked by areas that have no grocery stores, but have corner stores and fast food restaurants and that is how the residents usually find ways to nourish their bodies. But without fresh sources of food that is nearly impossible.
Anyway. In a 1.5 mile radius, walking distance for me, there are three Jewel-Oscos, two Whole Foods, two Targets, one Mariano’s, and a Trader Joe’s.
Boo. I got options. Now!
And here I am wondering why I am passing all the stores to get to this one Jewel that keeps popping up in my mind.
And I pass up the fast moving line to get into the slow moving line. Lord! What am I here for. And then I see. One of my daughters trusted babysitters. Smiling. Coming from behind the register to show me love, and I smile. God has a way of doing things when we walk in obedience.
That’s how I met the sister that was keeping my baby at church with her while I made the store run.
Sitting next to a complete stranger, I felt a tug and urge in my spirit to make sure she got to the place she needed to be. That’s been me. Why I drive the bus now, God knew He could trust me back then to get people to their destination, drop them off and keep on moving!
Being a faithful steward over few, yields rewards, like ruler over many.
You’ll never know a persons story until they tell it all.
Anyway. I made sure my sis made it to her destination back then, and she became a blessing to me later, and yet later still.
I could remember starting a new job. A year after we met initially. All the way in Niles, IL. At this time I was living on Chicago Ave, and Austin. If I had to be at work at 6 something, I was out the house walking from Chicago Ave to Lake st, at 2/3am to catch the Madison nightowl bus. From there I could walk to sis house, drop my baby off for her long day, and hop on the bus, a train and another bus.
Mothers do what we have to when we choose not to allow toxic relationships rule our lives.
I did anyway.
Yesterday I told sis that I didn’t want to get her to her destination back then. I didn’t know her. She was a stranger. But I was walking in faith, obedience to a God move, because I knew when He was working in my life. I had already saw the results of listening, and they always were good moves to make.
But it was about relationship.
I had no relationship with this young woman. Too quiet, for my then rowdy nature. Nah. Not really. I just didn’t know her.
I think now to my relationship with the Savior of my soul. Jesus Christ. The Son of God. Who lives in heaven, creating all things as God, and walked the earth as man. Seeing people in a way the Father never would see us, with human emotions, so going to the Father, through the Son as mediator, allows God to understand us better because the Son was once one of us.
Old testament Father God, dealt with his chosen people a lot differently, now that we walk alongside twins Mercy and Grace. Thanks to Jesus. For the perfect sacrifice. For the death on the cross. A perfect sacrifice for imperfect humanity, to redeem our sins.
I once walked the fine line of religiosity. In a religion, whose theology is off, and rhetoric is continuous.
And as much as my spirit wanted to do right, but my flesh couldn’t make the grade, I knew it had to be an easier way.
I didn’t know Jesus.
I knew bible verses. I knew rules. I knew religion.
I did not know Jesus.
I didn’t know his heart. I had a Sadducee and Pharisee mentality. Cruelly looking down on others for their differences. But it was all the people with differences who followed Jesus.
Not having anything to do with people who were unlike me, berating and belittling them like Apostle Paul, because I felt I had the right religion, and they were part of Babylon the great, false religion.
That’s not Jesus’ heart. Not for people. Creator walking with creation, of course his heart with Human emotion went out to those who were hurting, because we have an enemy who, like he did Job, seeks to see us hurt and in pain and turmoil, so we can turn our backs to God.
But Jesus. Opened the door so we can get back close to our Father. So there would be no more need to go through people. No need to see a high priest, a brother, an elder for our sins.
Prayer. Works. And when I ask my Father in prayer to forgive me, he does. Throwing it in a sea of forgetfulness. Not placing my sins on a card to be transferred from state to state, congregation to congregation so my sins will forever follow me via man who has a hard time containing their judgments.
This is the word of God. Not my opinion. Opinions are overrated. Save them for people who care and not many do these days. But word of God.
Study to show thyself approved. Not scriptures to quote before man. Or words to boast of in front of people.
We have one judge. He will return. And his questions and examination is the only one that will matter.
But its about relationship.
Before I had a touch from God on my life I wanted to do my own thing. I didn’t want to drive people I didn’t know places. I wanted to go to stores that were close and convenient for me. I kept my hair , nails and lashes on point, with clothes fly-i-i-i-y, so I didn’t associate with people who weren’t on my level. I did me. Quoting scripture like I had it together, negating that one simple commandment, that comes after love God with all your heart.
Loving my neighbor as myself.
In relationship with Jesus, wanting to have his heart for people. Wanting to love the unlovable. Wanting to encourage those who others shun. Wanting to listen to those others say are crazy, but sometimes people just want to be heard and tell their story.
Sometimes people are sent to us so we can do a work for them from God, because to whom much is given much is required.
Maybe that’s why many are called and few are chosen. Because after people hear the call, they can’t imagine God asking them to make sure a young woman gets a ride to her destination. They are expecting something grandiose. But if we don’t despise the days of humble beginnings, we have an opportunity to make it to greatness!!
I recited a poem for my church’s thanksgiving service. And after I bared my soul in a piece, feeling rather awkward about telling my story in front of a majority, where I had not always felt comfort, it was my sisters smiling face of encouragement that walked with me down a street not really talking about, but just being a source of encouragement.
You never know who God will use to push, motivate and encourage you if you always pushing people away because they don’t fit your mold.
Only God knows the heart, only God knows the plans for our lives.
Hebrews 12:2 looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.
No need to pay attention to what comes to distract us all around us. Gods plan. Is the only plan that matters.
And that comes with relationship.
Do you know how to gain, and maintain a relationship with Jesus?
Ask and the door shall be opened!