On the way to deliver God's money to our special friends, I instructed the kids that we were looking for people to show God's love to. Anything goes! We prayed for God to provide opportunities and committed ourselves to saying, "YES!" when we saw them.
The first person we encountered was an older gentleman walking along the road just as it was starting to rain. Perfect! I felt safe offering him a ride because he was old enough I didn't feel he posed a threat, plus we were in a public place. I also felt this was a great gift of love because he was obviously shuffling along and didn't have an umbrella. So we pulled around. "Can I give you a ride?!" I called out. He looked at me, scowled, waved his hand toward Walmart and through some other mumbles said, "No." Then he kept on walking. Now I wanted to get out grab him and force him to receive some love but, you'll be proud to know, I held myself back. On to the next victim, err I mean...
Deciding I needed some caffeine to continue on this journey, we pulled into Starbucks. (I had in hand one of the two gift cards I had received over the last couple of weeks!) What do you know, they were doing a water bottle drive for the Union Gospel Mission! So we donated $1.85 of the $3 I had, enough for one bottle. Normally I never give to these things because I'd rather donate directly, but today I said I would say, "Yes."
So we went on an delivered the main gift of the day and as we were on the way home for lunch I saw the Red Cross blood mobile in Roth's parking lot. This is usually something I would never do with the kids. Four littles and needles, lots of waiting, small spaces... these just don't match. But, I said I would say, "Yes." So I signed my name on the waiting list.
"Alright, we'll call your name in about 45 minutes."
45 minutes?!! And that was just to begin the process. The cost is too great! The kids will be bored stiff and causing problems, not to mention hungry. This will never work.
Hey, the details are God's to work out.
"We'll see you in 45 minutes then."
45 minutes gave us just enough time to get free Roth's cookies and go to the bathroom. Then we filled out all the forms and headed to the bus. Sierra said, "Mom, is it time for your blood surgery now?" I guess I had a little more explaining to do for her.
We all stepped into the big bus which felt surprisingly small with the kids clambering around trying to see.
"Um, your kids will have to wait in the front while we do your intake paperwork."
My mind raced. WHAT?!! You want my kids, alone, in the front of a bus filled with needles and other people's blood, not to mention a few strangers? It's already been 45 minutes and they just had cookies! This spells disaster!
Even when things are out of my control, they are under your control Lord.
"Ok, I'll bring them up there and be right back."
Needless to say it was hard to answer intake questions through my prayers, but, after about a half an hour, I made it through this portion, too, and the kids were fine.
The last phase of this blood giving journey was the needle part. The needles don't bother me, though I do experience some pain, but having to lay still while my kids are just yards away is almost unbearable. At this point the kids had been waiting nearly 2 hours for this big event. It was an hour past lunch time, the whole bus was very tight quarters, several people were having vein problems and taking forever, and I wanted to back out of my commitment. But, I said I would say "yes" and I didn't want my "yes" to be a shallow, meaningless gift that I quickly took back from the Lord when tough times came, so we stayed. After a little trouble locating the vein, my blood came quickly; 4 minutes 36 seconds. I asked him if that was a record! (I am sure it came fast because my heart was beating so quickly worrying that the kids, who were now beginning to bicker and fight, were going to really esscillate!). Then, after praying for the recipient of that blood, that was it. We survived.
I never would have done any of these little things because of inconvienence or personal bent, but today I got to experience how much God can do with a bunch of little "yes's". One day the "yes" may be more costly. One day the impact may be bigger. But today, we practiced, oh, and we tested the Lord. Remember it was Malachi 3 that prompted this follow through. How did He throw open the floodgates of heaven? I'll have to get to that... tomorrow.