T-Shirts and Time
This day was truly a God day!
It started out like any other summer morning with an hour or so gardening, taking in a bit of sunshine and generally being in my happy place. For me this form of exercise is bliss…it's my “zone” …and so often the place where The Lord and I meet. On this day He would not disappoint!
While scrubbing my hands (post-gardening) I gave thanks that my next activity would be a visit to the nail salon. My nails had been in dire need of a manicure for weeks-heck, months really. After attempting a “walk-in” appointment it became evident that my thinking needed readjustment. I was met with, "No walk-ins on this day, too busy M'am"! (Post COVID care on the increase? Hard to say.) I complied, made an appointment for the next morning and made sure to be on time.
“On time” because…there wasn't enough time to shower, wash my hair or put on makeup. Instead, with handbag and sunglasses donned I headed out wearing bike pants, flip flops, and a favorite T-shirt. This particular T-shirt simply reads, “Be still and know that I am God”.
Psalm 46:10 from Scripture is a favorite although being still isn’t my spiritual gift! Speaking honestly this shirt is a reminder to and for myself to simmer down and listen for God!
With my nail appointment time approaching off I flew with an “as is” look, i.e. bike pants (that I know had garden dirt on the bottom), my Christian verse T-shirt, no makeup (scary!) and hair in a ponytail. Don’t judge me, you know you’ve done that too!
And then it happened. Little did I realize the first (of what would become two in the same day) appointed and anointed God encounters, began minutes after arriving in the salon.
While settling into one of those magical massage chairs and being pampered with a good old-fashioned manicure and pedicure two women entered the salon. The first was obviously younger…I think a bit younger than me so around 39! (Okay quit laughing!) The younger called the older woman “Mom” and within a minute after both were comfortably settled in their massage chairs, the younger looked my way and with obvious intent to strike up a conversation said, “I love your T- shirt, I love that verse”.
Discernment has taught me that when these things happen a conversation is about to begin. I’ve learned to put aside any thoughts about my personal space, any attitude of needing to ignore others or hope that I can escape into a fantasy world where I’ll be “left alone”. No, that’s not how God designed me! These conversations inevitably become conversations about God, Christianity, about Church, possibly hearing someone’s story and you know what…I love that! Thank You God that You gave me the ability to listen.
I love to hear people’s stories, their faith journeys and know as well The Lord has given me the extra capacity to sit, listen and care. Beth Moore, (one of my favorite Christian speakers) once said that we "should only tell our story to people we find worthy enough to hear it". I thank The Lord that He places me in the right locations at the right times and that in those special moments I am "worthy enough" to hear stories like the following...
At first the younger spoke on behalf of her sweet mother. Oh, you know the basics…. where they were from, what they had for lunch…just chit-chat. “Mom” sat quietly while the technician methodically began her care. Little did I realize a God moment was about to begin.
Unprompted the younger began to tell the story of her parents. She revealed that Mom had just lost Dad in December 2020 to COVID. With the bottom line exposed, Mom began to tell her long, hard, heartbreaking story. They’d been married for 60 years. With her quiet demeanor and slow, precisely chosen words (so carefully expressed as she hasn't spoken to many since her husband's death), she began to speak, almost in a whisper-like voice about their life, how she too had contracted Covid but survived, her former church life and community left behind, her faith, and so much more. It's amazing what really can happen in a nail salon!
By the end of our “nail appointments” we’d discovered each other's names and exchanged information. After extending an invitation to my church both ladies expressed how they’d been looking for a new place to Worship then agreed “this had been a ‘Divine’ appointment”! (Thank You God!)
But God wasn't done with my verse-y, garden dirty T-shirt! Later in the day Divine appointment #2 was about to happen!
With three broken window blinds in our home, I called upon a gentleman who has helped with our window coverings in the past. It’s kind of funny how the only appointment he had this week happened to be this same day…coincidentally one hour after my nail appointment. With still no time to shower I remained in the same outfit. Mr. Budget Blinds arrived on time…(a theme was definitely in play)…and as you may have guessed a conversation struck up immediately.
Upon opening the front door Mr. BB said, “That's one of my favorite verses”. He began to tell his story, what his past and present church life has looked like , how he had been an Executive Pastor at a local church, about his first marriage, their divorce, getting remarried and what it's like to be in a broken, blended family. We talked about going to church, being apart from church, the Bible, blended family dynamics and church attendance, Worship music, pastors in skinny jeans (c’mon, LOL!) and most importantly, Jesus.
I feel both encounters were appointed by God's Will and anointed too. He designed the day just as He wanted it to be. And there was still something more to do before this day was over.
Neither the ladies in the nail salon nor Mr. Budget Blinds had ever heard of the global phenomenon called, “The Chosen”. The Chosen is the first ever Christian video series based on the true stories of the Gospels of Jesus Christ! My husband and I as well as my Bible study girlfriends have watched both seasons produced to date and collectively, have all been deeply touched by this series about the life and times of Jesus. The series uses the statement, "Come and See" (John 1:39) as one of their slogans. God knew all three encounters today would not only need to, but be open to the invitation to do just that! Kingdom work...You are so good!
My takeaways are the following:
· Don’t worry about what you’re wearing when you have bigger business to attend to…God has a plan for you to execute, just go!
· Make eye contact with people…we all need to talk and have missed each other.
· Pause…Be still and allow God to work through you.
· Some have suffered so greatly, be open to listening and caring. Say that you care.
· Be bold and wear this T-shirt more! (Wash first!)
We just never know what the new day will bring ! Come and See!
The Chosen is available for free by downloading “The Chosen” App to your phone then streaming the episodes to your television via Apple TV, Roku, FireTV, Chromecast, Amazon Prime and more!