Have you ever had a relentless, nagging thought that is telling you to do something? A “something” that you may or may not want to do? That is exactly what happened to me just two days ago.
There I was, driving down the road just minding my own business. I was listening to my children singing in the backseat, rain splatting on the windshield and water splashing beneath my tires. To be honest I was feeling a little frustrated and sorry for myself because, I was locked out of my house and my Husband was still at work. (Long story and completely my Husband’s fault but, not the point of this story.) As I was driving I noticed a woman somewhere in her late 30’s to early 40’s walking down the sidewalk with her son. When I say ‘walking’ it was not the usual easy stride like most of us are capable of. She was moving very slowly, slightly bent over relying on the stability of a walker that had a seat on it. Her teenage son was walking very slowly beside her carrying two plastic grocery bags that hardly had anything in them. “Why don’t they use an umbrella?” I thought to myself. “They are getting soaked.”
As soon as I thought those words I could not believe I was being so insensitive. By the looks of the pair, they probably didn't have the money for an umbrella. Another thought hit me just as quick, “Give them your umbrella”. At first I tried to ignore the voice in my head, I was not just going to give away my umbrella. After all I really like that umbrella. It is extra-large but, it folds down very small. It is convenient for taking places, black to match anything and it was not cheap. In fact I just bought it a couple of months ago after losing one just like it because, I like that style so much. I was reciting all of these things in my mind but, I could still hear a voice louder than the rest, “You are being selfish, they need that umbrella more than you, give them your umbrella.” To say the least I had mixed feelings about what I did next. I turned my truck around, grabbed the umbrella from underneath the back seat and headed back to where I had seen the woman and her son moving slowly on the sidewalk. “Maybe they will already be gone and I won't have to give it to them”, I thought to myself as I headed in their direction. I could almost visualize an Angel sitting on my shoulder gently whispering in one ear and the Devil screaming in the other. Isn’t it amazing how an Angel’s soft voice so effortlessly overpowers the Devil’s strongest screams?
About that time my oldest Daughter (who realized we had turned around) asked where we were going so I told her what was going on. “We have to give the people we passed an umbrella.” Of course she did not immediately understand why, so I began to explain it to her. As I was explaining the situation a wonderful feeling of serenity and gratefulness came over me. It’s a good feeling to know that you are doing good for someone else no matter how it may affect you. No matter where I wanted to be at that moment I was right where I needed to be.
Soon I could see the pair in the distance. The walk had gotten the best of the woman as she now sat on the seat of the walker while her loving son pushed her slowly along. I drove up to the pair, turned on my hazard lights, rolled down my window and asked, “Would you folks like an umbrella?” The look of astonishment on their faces was quickly followed by, “Yes! Thank you!” As the son walked over to get the umbrella the mother had a sincere look of gratitude as she thanked me over and over and said what a sweetheart I was. I then handed the umbrella to the son and said, “Bless you both” as I drove away.
I can’t really describe in words the feeling that swept over my body at that moment. Tears immediately came streaming down my face. As I looked in the rear-view mirror I saw not only a son covering his mother with an umbrella but, with the love of God and the generosity of a stranger.
What a blessing that God had put me into that situation. To think I almost kept driving! If I would not have turned around that day I would have been the one that missed out the most. I thank you Lord for reminding a busy, unsuspecting, mother that she is under your covering and she needs to share your love with others.
Sometimes the things we love are put in our lives to show us a greater love. We have to be willing to listen so we can experience things the way God intended for us to experience them. I mean really, who would have ever thought an umbrella could bring so much joy. Only through the hands of God.