an example of making a difference where you are

6 04 2007

This week I have been thinking about how we should do more for God with what we have, rather than saying we’d do more if we had more money, talent, or time.  Then last night one of my friends shared a story of how God told his wife to be a blessing to a man they didn’t know at the restaurant they were at.  It’s one of those stories that is inspiring, that makes me want to do more for God and to listen more closely for His voice.  I asked my friend to write out the story so I could post it here.  I think you’ll be blessed by it.

My wife and I were eating last night at a local BBQ restaurant.  We had finished eating our meal and had already paid.  As I was preparing to leave, my wife leaned over to me and said, “I think I’m supposed to buy that man’s dinner, but I’m not sure.”  I glanced back over my shoulder and saw a man in his mid to late 60s wearing a veteran’s cap, sitting alone at a booth by the door.  I told my wife, “Then let’s do it”.  She responded, “But I’m not sure… I don’t want to offend him or anything.”  So I said, “Well… we can pray about it and do it next time.”  She sat there a moment and then said, “No… I definitely need to buy his dinner.”

So my wife and I went to the counter to ask for his ticket and my wife paid for his meal.  The owner and some waitresses were there and gave us odd looks, wondering why we’d want to do such a thing.  The man hadn’t had too much to eat, pretty much just a plate of BBQ and two fried pies to go.  The total was maybe 12 or 13 dollars.  My wife left a note with his waitress that said something along the lines of, “You don’t know us, but we saw your veterans cap and wanted to say thank you for your service to our country.  We just wanted to be your blessing today by buying your dinner.”  That was it — we didn’t even sign the note.  Then we left and went home, never expecting to see or hear anything from this man again.

About 30 minutes later we got a call from the owner of the restaurant.  He could hardly speak through his tears.  He told us that he’d gotten our phone number from the check we used to pay for the meal.  When they told the man that his meal had already been paid for and gave him my wife’s note, he had burst into tears.  No one had ever did such a thing for him.  He then detailed the story of how his wife was in the hospital with brain cancer.  He’d been constantly at her side for weeks.  He was discouraged and decided he would step out for a quick bite to eat before returning to her side.  And he had received a blessing… and an encouragement, I hope.

My wife had been wondering earlier about how many times we miss God and His leading.  We say to ourselves “If I had more… then I’d give more”, and we lose sight of the fact that many of us are blessed beyond measure.  We may not be rich, but we have a home to sleep in at night, food to eat, and we have our health.  Many people cannot say the same.  How can we realistically say, “If I had more, I’d be more generous”?  I dare say that if you can’t spare a couple dollars when all you have is $10, then even if you have a million dollars, you will have trouble giving.

It would have been very easy to walk out of that restaurant and never notice this man.  Sadly, I probably would have.  But thankfully my wife was sensitive to the leading of God, and He used us to be a blessing.  Isn’t that the way it should be — God using us to be His hands and do His work?  We just have to get less focused on me and more focused on Him.

That event probably made that man’s day, maybe even his week.  And all it cost was about $12 and a few minutes.  I imagine he will tell several people of this event, and hopefully he will thank God for it.  The owner and staff at the restaurant noticed and will probably tell people, and hopefully they will take notice of the impact and be more generous to people.  And by my friend telling me the story, I’m telling dozens of people.  So who knows how much influence that one small act of kindness has?  It is a great example of how we don’t have to have much to make a difference in the world around us.  Each of us can do something…

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3 responses

6 04 2007
Fab

Your friend is right–that’s the way it should be, giving of what we already have to do the work of God. God never called us to do anything without providing the resources to do so, many times with things we already have at our disposal. When Moses led the children of Israel, he didn’t have much. But God asked him what was in his(Moses’) hand. Moses answered, “A staff”. And with that staff, many miracles took place and God’s purpose was advanced because Moses was willing to be obedient with what he had.

7 04 2007
Sambo

some time ago i was an appliance repairman. Iwas working for sears at the time and i had a call in a home where the owner was bedfast. She was there by herself and her door had an electronic lock -u pushed buzzer and she open the door. As i was working on her washer God was telling me i needed to pray for her.. I kept saying no I don’t have time -no what would she think -no i can’t do that– I finished working said thank you and left– got in my van and God was still telling me to pray for her — I finally said ok God -but i don’t have time to do this— I buzzed her door and she opened it. I went to her bedside and said “I need to pray for u” She looked at me – tears came into her eyes and she said “How did u know ?” I gentle placed one hand on her forehead and she held my other hand in both of hers and I said a short and simple prayer for her. I never saw her again but by finally saying yes to God i gave her something that she needed very badly. I have tried since to be more open to God and what he is telling me to do …….

10 04 2007
Beppo

We never know what will become of our ministry when God is involved. It might seem like such a small thing, yet the seeds planted and/or watered may bear much fruit.

One time I was in a hurry to get somewhere because I didn’t have much time, and I felt a prompting in my heart to go to a specific gas station, and I could picture a certain worker there, who I didn’t even know. I’d seen him there before, but I had no idea if he’d even be working at that time. At first I didn’t want to go, because I didn’t have much time to get to my destination. But I wanted to obey God, so I went. And it turned out he was working there, and was the only one working there that day. So I witnessed to him. He responded favorably, although I have no idea what ever became of it. But I did all I knew to do, and that’s what I’m called to do. We plant and/or water the seeds, and God brings the harvest. (See 1 Corinthians 3:5-7.)

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