Thursday, August 28, 2008

Clothed with nice-ness

With my goal to read more and watch less tv, I picked up Beyond Jabez by Bruce Wilkinson. He encourages the reader to learn to recognize a "Jabez moment" divine appointments, through which you can touch a life or do something for God's purposes.

Bruce described how whenever he is on a plane he would turn to the passenger next to him and ask, "Is there anything that I can do for you?"

Really???? Please forgive me, but if some old guy, (sorry Bruce) mature gentlemen, that I did not know, asked me if it was anything he could do for me, God, prayer and Jabez would be the farthest thing from my mind.

However, I'm always one who tries to stretch beyond my own self-imposed limitations. So I took the test. Would I be able to be as bold as Bruce and ask a perfect stranger this question? I will try it on my next business trip.

Here's how it went.

I'm exhausted-after being molested in security, I mean randomly searched (I don't know why but, they always pick me!) Oh Lord! My drivers license has expired! Did I know?... No..... I'm mean, Yes..... I mean No!

Lord, why did'nt I just bring my passport! Thank you Jesus, they let me through; it was only expired by 3 or 4 days. I must travel with my passport, shoot!

I finally, scuff to my gate with one shoe completely on and the other half way, only to find that the flight has been delayed for 1 hour and 30 minutes. I'm hungry but I refuse to buy the over priced airport food, after all I am a good stewart. (We should get a sandwich on the plane, right? Where are those tic-tacs?!).

Finally, after what seems like an eternity, some friendly voice announces that my gate has changed from 1 to 17. No worries though because the plane is here and ready to go. So hurry up! But by the way, there is no more room on the plane for carry-on luggage, so you will have to check your bags.

Just as I'm reminding myself that in ALL things we should give thanks. A young teenage girl inches her way apprehensively over to me and says "are you waiting to go to Atlanta?"

"Yes, I am. Are you?"

"Yes, I'm just coming from a 12 hour flight from Japan."

"Really? Are you traveling alone?" (She was so cute, reminded me of my daughter).

"Yes, I am. My Uncle is stationed their and I spent 2 weeks with him."

"Wow! That must have been great?"

"Yes, it was. But, my Mom is really nervous about me travelling alone. I had a non-stop flying going there, so she was able to put me on the plane and my Uncle was there when I got off. But coming home, I couldn't get a non-stop so I've had some day, with all the changes and delays.

"I'm sure you have."

"My Mom is waiting for me in Atlanta, she's a nervous wreck right now. But she told me to look for someone who looks nice, she said they would help me. So I saw you sitting over there and I said - she looks nice."

I smiled.

We had a nice chat as we waited to board the plane. She told me about Japan and shared her excitement of being a senior in high school this year. I told her that I had a daughter at home, her age who was also going to be a senior. Maybe they could get together?

As we board the plane and I make my way pass the angry faces in business class-who always look like they are annoyed that the coachers are taking so long. I sit in between (hey..took whatever seat I could get) a Japenese man, who hardly speaks english and a girl who had already curled herself into a tight ball near the window with her earphones and hoody on her head.

Ok, this would be where I'd ask, "Is there something that I can do for you?" Mmm..... Should I ask the Japenese man (I don't speak Japanese)? Or, should I ask the girl (I think it's a girl)? I decided that God had already given me something to do and it was to to be clothed in nice-ness.

Therefore, as God's chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. Col 3:12

As I got off the plane in Atlanta, (oh, they did give us a sandwich) I motioned to my new young friend, who was sitting a few rows back, that I would wait for her outside. I listened in to her call, as she told her mother she had landed safely, and had indeed found 'someone nice'.

I found myself guarding her like she was my own teenage daughter, "be careful getting on the airtran," I said. "Please hold on, it goes really fast."

I was on assignment.

As we walked to baggage-claim, I found myself hoping someone would one day be nice to my daughter, she too has aspirations of traveling abroad and seeing the world. I can imagine praying and asking the Lord to get her home safely. "Please Lord, send someone nice to look after her."

Just then my reward came sooner than expected, the great big hug of a perfect stranger.

"Thank you, Thank you, for bringing my daughter home to me!"

God had indeed given me a "Jabez moment". But instead of asking someone if there was something that I could do for them, God showed me that I just had to be clothed with the spirit of compassion, kindness, gentleness and niceness so that someone could instead ask of me.

Be Blessed,



Carmen said...

Love your smile! your writing style! it that you and Judy B. connected through the 'I Love P.M.S.!' women's prison ministry! (she emailed me today asking if I knew you personally...)

Judy is such a lovely, compassionate two have that in common... ;o)

Shalom Aleichem Sister...

Deb Burton said...

Sometimes we pray for God to use us, but then forget that He's the One in charge of how He uses us! thanks for the reminder to just be open, willing and on the look out for any opportunity God presents us to share His love.