This man, although working a brutal morning shift for more-than-likely minimum wage, blesses me every time we meet. Our meetings don’t last longer than a couple of minutes and we’ve never exchanged comments more than, “Thank you” and “You have a beautiful day.” But that’s enough. He impacts my day with such a positive start I can’t help but carry that energy with me through the day.
This was our routine … until yesterday morning. His voice didn’t contain it’s usual chipperiness and I was worried for him. This man who has blessed me so many mornings by how he treats me and my fellow customers needed to be blessed. And so in the time it took me to travel from the “box” to the window, I prayed. I prayed for this man and I prayed for every person I would meet during the day. I asked God to provide me with opportunities to be a blessing to them.
Which is right about the time this song began playing on my radio: Be the Change
Wow, talk about a “God moment!” I was getting giddy and couldn’t wait for my turn at the window to bless this man who, whether he realized it or not, has blessed me countless times.
Sitting in the parking lot munching on my breakfast (you didn’t think I ate while I drove, did you?) I thought about how I needed to not “just” be thankful for the blessings in my life but to look for opportunities to be a blessing to others. I remembered the blessing bags sitting on my back seat.
My life group had decided to create “blessing bags” a few months back. My sweet friend, Lorrie, put them together and I received mine the other day. These are little care packages filled with things like socks, toiletries, and snacks we are giving to people we encounter that are in need of a little assistance.
I was headed downtown to a meeting and I knew I was going to be driving past a place under the highway where many people without homes sleep. I knew … just KNEW … this was going to be an opportunity for me to be a blessing to someone! Would you believe the area was clear when I drove by? I actually stopped and laughed because I was doing it again. Instead of allowing God to orchestrate my day, I was assuming the role of creative director.
Humbled, I headed on to my meeting and determined to use my eyes and ears to find the opportunities instead of trying to create the opportunities that would be most convenient for me.
The day progressed and it was fairly uneventful. The meeting was filled with lots of great information for me to take back to my campuses, and I came away with many kernels of ideas I plan to discuss with my adminstrators to possibly develop into full-blown action.
And then it happened.
A colleague and I were chatting as we were heading to our cars and I fell. My foot slipped off the sidewalk and before I realized what was happening, I was on the ground, face-up, with all my bags on top of my face. All I could think at that moment was, “How in the world did my bags end up on my head?” My colleague helped me untangle myself and I just kind of laid there for another moment, mainly because I couldn’t figure out what had just happened. I looked up and saw another colleague running toward me and everyone was asking me if I was okay. I really was okay, hugely embarrassed, but okay. My coordinator arrived as I was climbing up from the ground and said I needed to fill out an accident report. (Great.) Then she said it could wait until Monday. (Great!)
So … how was I blessing others, you ask? As I’ve reflected on the incident, I really believe the blessing was allowing others to serve me. If I had been alone when I’d fallen off the sidewalk (yes, it’s happened … ), my colleagues wouldn’t have had that opportunity for service.
It’s a crazy way to look at the incident but the reality is, God doesn’t typically work in ways that make sense.
And I’m learning sometimes the way to be a blessing … to be the change … is to provide others with opportunities to serve.