In the Small Moments
One of the challenges we so often struggle with is being other centered. Whether here on the road, or back at home. Our first couple of months on the road, we were on a steep learning curve, and to look outside our world, was not always easy. But over time, and with renewed intentionality, we have asked God to give us those moments of encouraging others, loving on others, outside our small family circle. We want, and we also want for our children to see with His eyes. This is often done in the small moments. Not with big lights, and extraordinary circumstances, but in daily moments. We share these next few stories, not to give ourself a ‘high five’ but to remember, to remind ourselves to be vigilant, to maybe encourage you, as so many of you have encouraged us, and to encourage ourselves to keep on, keeping on.
- One day, while at a campground, a lady we had talked with a few times, stopped me to say goodbye and talk. Truth be told, I was running off somewhere and for a moment had that selfish tug on my heart that I wanted to just keep going. But thankfully that gentle tug inside my heart let me know, this wasn’t about me and ‘my time’. This precious sister in the Lord, began to weep as she shared her story, a heartbreaking story. We talked and we talked, and we prayed. As we said goodbye, I walked away thanking God for his gentle prodding and His change in my selfish heart.
- Just a couple of weeks later, we were at a pool at a campground. While watching the kids run around and play, I noticed one child about 8-10 years old, that seemed to be a little ‘rough around the edges’ with his words and respect to the lifeguards. A few minutes later, our Jonah was walking over to this boy to see if he wanted to play. (There aren’t too many kids on a playground, that Jonah hasn’t made sure to meet!). Within a few minutes they’re over asking for snacks, and when done, my kids run off to jump in the pool and this boy sits down to tell me that he used to have a sister but she died 3 years ago and he misses her. By the end of the week at this campground, and plenty of swimming time, my kids are asking to exchange phone numbers so we can stay in contact with this sweet hurting boy.
- Same campground, different time and on the playground, a child is walking around bummed that he has a broken arm. Noah asks if he can pray with him and the boy, looked in surprise and says, Sure!
- One evening, we went to this restaurant to enjoy the special of $0.25 chicken wings. (Who doesn’t love wings, and at a great price!?!?) As we are about half way done eating, the lady from the table next to us comes over, and says, “I have no hope in my life right now, but I just watched your family and you have brought me hope.” I stand up and to begin talking with her and ask if I can pray with her. She begins crying and grabs me and holds me while I pray. We shared truth, we shared hope, we shared life abundant. Even now, she oft comes to my mind, and is prayed for. May she know TRUE hope, may she seek Him with her whole heart and find Him, because that is His promise! He can be found! I distinctly hear a wise old man from my past saying, “I thought I was just going there for the wings. Boy, was I wrong!”
- This last Friday, we arrived at our next campground and have set up for the week. After a full week of constant kids to play with, our kids were hoping they would find someone, anyone, to play with. None were found. But Saturday, a little boy comes over from across the way where there is one lone tent. He asks to play and his father comes over to meet us. Fast forward to our evening, and they come over and join us at the fire. After getting the kids settled with s’more’s we turn to pepperoni sticks over the open fire. As this father gets his skewer prepared, he turns to us and asks if we’re Christian or Catholic or something. Jay shares that we love the Lord. This father then says, well, I’m… I’m confused. And there begins a conversation. It’s times like these, when I’m just in awe of God’s orchestration of lives and how He intertwines people from all different walks of lives. This man has been living in a tent for the last 6 weeks to be near his 4 year old son. His son clearly adores his father and they have a loving relationship. To stay at this campground he works 23 hours to cover his ‘rent’ of a tent space and then another job, to provide for other necessities. The next morning as they join us for pancakes he shares a little more about how he used to be homeless, but that it was only for a short time. He understands working hard, and working for his keep. He asks a little more about churches and where he might go. We talk, we share. We have 2 more nights here (hopefully without rain) and we continue to pray for opportunity.
- This last weekend, the boys and Jay went to the park next door and met a single dad with two special needs kids. Jay and this father had over an hour of talking and Jay was able to minister to him while in a time of his life where he is seeking to know who God really is.
Opportunity to see with His eyes, is everywhere. We are so thankful and so humbled that we get to be used by God, that He allows us to be a part of His kingdom work, whether in Colorado, Africa, or on some road in the US.
We don’t know the outcome of these lives, we don’t know where they will be in a few years, but we do know that God is at work, and these small moments are all part of the planting season in each life, whether a seed, whether the watering, the planting, or the harvesting.