Thursday, September 20, 2007

In Her Own Words

After I posted Kelly's Quiet Sacrifice last month, many of you have been joining me in prayer for my precious friend whose husband is currently serving in Iraq. She emailed me about an experience she had the other day and it moved me so much that I asked her if I could share it with you. There is no need for me to attempt to retell it because she expressed it so beautifully in her own words:

I took 2 large care packages to the Post Office to mail to my sweet husband in Iraq today. I tried my best to gather things that I think he might be missing in his home-sweet-trailer over there. *(It should be noted that I did see if I would fit in the box, since I'm sure he's missing me, but I didn't fit, and since I'm post-partum, I was over the weight limit anyway:)

As I stood in line trying to finish packing and addressing the boxes (I had plenty of time, I was number 13 in line), I struck up a conversation with an elderly man behind me. He noticed the military address on my packages, and kindly inquired about the addressee. I briefly discussed the surface details, not wanting to expose myself to the flippant comments people so easily make about the war these days. But in his eyes I saw compassion. I wondered if he had ever served, ever had to leave his family, friends, home and church, and venture off to the unknown and the unpredictable. I wanted to ask, but these days people are taught by society not to get too close their fellow man.

Don't ask, don't tell. You might offend.

The pleasantries continued, with Number 12 and Number 15 in line adding in anecdotes about their family members who were serving. I guess I would say I was surprised by the coincidence of all of us having relations who serve, but I've found lately that God has been so good to surround me with people and things that give me support and encouragement.

I finally reached the front of the line, secretly thankful for my child-free extended stay at the Post Office, and hoisted my oversized re-purposed diaper boxes up on the counter. As I reached in my purse, knowing full well that the shipping costs alone would probably be more than the value of the contents, the kindly gentleman behind me stepped up and addressed the postal worker. "This young lady is sending these boxes to her husband who is serving in Iraq," he stated, "and I would like to pay for the postage."

My jaw found a resting place on top of the stamps on the counter. I couldn't believe it. I kept questioning him, asking him if he was sure. Did he know how much these boxes weighed? Didn't he realize they were shipping internationally? Surely he would want to rescind his offer. But he didn't. He just instructed the postman to ship them in the most timely matter, waited for the cost, and plunked a fifty-dollar bill down to pay the far.

Wow. I didn't know what to say. As someone who struggles with accepting help, I was suddenly faced with having to let a complete stranger pay a $30 bill that I had accrued. I had packed the boxes, I had put all of the heavy things in them. I was responsible for the content and the cost. But this man stepped up and paid it. I attempted to thank the man as best I could, not really knowing what to say. He looked at me and said "May God bless your husband." I nodded in agreement and went on my way, thoroughly shocked at the way God had just blessed my husband's wife.

As I later reflected on what some would just call "good luck", I thought about how God provides what we need, when we need it. And the one thing we need most of all, is saving from our sins. I guess Jesus is kind of like that kind and gentle man behind me today at the Post Office. When it was my turn to step forward and pay for all of the baggage I brought with me to the counter, he stepped in and said he would pay for it. Jesus did that for us. He stepped up and paid for our heavy sin, not because we deserve it, but because he cares for us.

I don't know the name of the man who helped me today; I can't write him a card to say thank you; I can't call him and offer appreciation. But I decided that what I can do is pass on his unintentional message. Be good. Show kindness. Be a representative of Christ and His purpose in your actions toward others.

Step up to the counter.


Janelle said...

What an awesome story! That reminds me to look for ways I can bless others around me. I need to obey God's whisper more when it comes to this matter.

Thank you for sharing such a lovely example of God's grace.

Sun said...

WOW - this is amazing! I want to copy and paste and print this out if that is ok and put it in my journal...what an amazing story! Thank you so much for posting it here and let Kelly know that we will be praying for her and her husband and their family! Sunshine

Cindi said...

Wow...Kelly as I pray for you and your husband, through the request of my precious daughter in law, I am awed at how I am blessed through your experience. Just another small little wonder of God's large plan for us. An interwoven tapestry of lives stitched so close together like the scene played out in the Post Office, creating a masterpiece of art. And to think some people never get to see it because they never slow down to watch or they imagine miracles as large and loud. But real miracles occur when we bless others, like quitely praying for another and then watching the prayers answered.

TCC said...

I love the fact that this DIDN'T happen in December...around Christmas when it seems that people are more willing to be kind and to give.

Continuing to pray for Kelly, her family and the many others that have members of their family serving our country.

Chrys and Mike said...

powerful. thanks so much for sharing it.


Kelly said...

Well - thanks for making me cry at my desk this morning! ha!
What a wonderful story - God really does show up and gives us amazing gifts each day. What a loss if we don't recognize that they come from him.
I'm so thankful for men like Kelly's husband who are serving for my freedom. I'm so ashamed of Americans who aren't thankful.

Sunni at The Flying Mum said...

that is a great story. that's exactly how we show God's love in this world...just how that man did.

Autumn said...

What a wonderful story! It made me cry. For all that it did for her the reward was 100x greater for that man. To have the ability to help others is such a priviledge.

Christy said...

Thank you for posting that, it was amazing!