I don’t usually do this. I want to tell you about what God did last week. I feel free to share this because even though I am in this story, God is the actor in the story. Here’s how it went:
Last week Dwight ran across a quote from a missionary family from Dr. Francis Schaeffer, “You can change the world from around your kitchen table.” This family had hosted 73 people during the month of June in their home and in their guesthouses. That prompted us, as we approached the celebration of the freedom of our country, to consider conversation around our outdoor table as a means of examining the roots of our country’s founding with other people. So Dwight issued an invitation on his Facebook page for 10 people to come and eat and talk with us on Saturday night. We had one guest and delightful and stimulating conversation.
As I prepared for an unknown number of guests, I boiled a chicken and prepared all of it into chicken salad. I had cheddar cheese and roasted peppers and prepared a large batch of pimento cheese. I had potato salad. I had enough green beans that I could prepare a large green bean salad. Our guest brought some cherries. So we had more than enough for the three of us to eat. There was plenty left over.
Last year, I moved a picnic table from our yard to a position near our road. Our grandson and his friend gifted us with a coat of turquoise paint to designate it as a place of hospitality so that I could begin to develop relationships with our neighbors. We live in an awkward setting for hospitality. We live in a subdivision of 10+ acre lots. Our property is the least connected property in the subdivision. Frankly, I have been frustrated at how little I have gotten to know our neighbors over the last year. The table has sat mostly unused for the better part of a year.
That changed on Sunday afternoon. Another of our grandsons came back to our house to pick up his notebook that he had left when he visited on Saturday. When he arrived, he mentioned that there were two ladies with a dog sitting at the picnic table. I rushed out the driveway to greet the two ladies. They were sisters and from Michigan. They had come to visit their brother and his family who live at the end of our road. Their brother has lymphoma. Their sister-in-law unexpectedly lost her father last week. I listened as they described the difficult situation for this family, and I told them that I pray and would be praying for their family. They expressed appreciation, and we exchanged contact information.
Dwight and I did pray for this family. I wanted to do something substantial on Monday for them. I didn’t know what I could do to help, but asked God to guide me. God gave me the idea to take dinner to them on Monday night. There were five of them, there were doctors’ appointments, and illness. I contacted the wife (sister-in-law) and told her that I was sorry about her father’s death and wanted to do something – to bring them a meal. When I did hear back from her, she had been gone for most of the day and was very appreciative. It was easy to get a meal together. I had plenty of chicken salad and pimento cheese and enough green beans to make another salad. It took almost nothing at all to put together a simple and quick meal. We took the food to them, and heard the bit of good news they had gotten from the doctor’s visit earlier in the day. They thanked us and asked that we continue to pray for them.
I came home rejoicing that God had provided an opportunity and had guided me in my preparation ahead of time so that I had everything I needed to pass on a blessing to this family. I thanked God for the beginnings of a new friendship with a family who apparently already know Him. I thanked Him for the opportunity to demonstrate His love and care to a hurting family in this very lonely covid-19 time.
May God guide all of us so that we, first of all, recognize His opportunities and then that we seize them to bring glory to Himself.