It wasn’t how I wanted to spend my day. You’ve been there. The inopportune hours spent at the auto repair shop. There were three recalls on my car. After making a few attempts over a year’s time to have them repaired, the parts were finally in, and the repairs could happen in two hours.

With a little shifting around of my schedule for the day and embracing the idea of getting time without distractions to write, I grabbed my computer and jumped in the car. On the way to the dealership, I thought of one of my dearest friends and called her. We quickly went deep with intimate conversations around the events and circumstances of our lives, including how we met 22 years ago, and the ups and downs of our relationship.

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After checking in, rather than write, my friend and I continued our conversation, and we shared how God is such a powerful influence and Source in our lives.  For more than an hour and a half we talked and listened deeply to one another, even confessing times we swerved off the path of life. Near the end of our call, we prayed. She stood outside Tuesday Morning while I sat in the small room at the auto dealership, tucked away for privacy. And just before amen, I love you, and goodbye, there was a tap at the door.

I gathered my things and followed my service advisor into her office. Let’s call her Lisa. I carefully listened as Lisa explained all they did to my car, and of course, she passed along the long list of needed service to bring my car up to their standards.

As Lisa spoke, I noticed her move gingerly in her seat watched her wince. Concerned, I asked, “Are you alright?”

At that moment she became an open book. Lisa is a young mom, barely able to make it financially and is struggling emotionally with two small children. A few years ago she fled to America after her then-husband mistreated her, nearly taking her life.

I sat there in amazement at how this woman was sharing things from her past that I understood, had experienced and gained freedom. We spoke of women’s issues, and I encouraged her that she can overcome with Christ.

Was it fate? No.

Was it coincidence? No.

It was a divine appointment. There was great purpose through our time together.

She saw she is accepted.

She saw she matters.

She heard God wants the best for her, and not to ever believe the lie that she has to compromise her true self to have her needs met.

When I stood to leave, she stood. She walked around the desk that separated us and opened her arms wide giving me a warm hug.

I shared my number and hugged her like one of my daughters. “I’m gonna call you,” she said, “for my mom and me.”

As I walked away, I thought about generational patterns. It is true that the fruit doesn’t fall far from the tree. An apple tree bears an apple, a fig tree bears figs, and a grape vine bears grapes. Those who have gone before us have done the best they can with what they know, but many times they are misguided or saw models out of self-preservation. This young woman, like many, has eaten some rotten fruit in her life.

There are moments due to schedule changes we wonder how we can be productive if we are interrupted and can’t do what we are “supposed” to do.

I have learned over the years always to be prepared to share the reason for my hope. Through preparation, the door opens with more opportunities, whether it is one to one or the thousands.

Opportunity can come anytime in any place with the homeless, the fatherless, the widows, the prostitute, children abandoned by their fathers, women who are unsure of their next step to take in life, the sick and those who are reeling in the midst of loss and heart break. These people need to see human kindness and to know they matter. And they do, more than we can comprehend. It was David, the man after God’s heart, who wrote that God is close to the broken-hearted. He is!

Have you seen opportunities in your life?

It is almost impossible to see the needs of others if we are too self-focused, looking down on others, or have a mindset that if they got themselves into this, they could get themselves out. That is not how Jesus modeled love for us.

When we meet people where they are we learn how we can lend a hand, unite with others who are different from us or sit with someone and intentionally listen, we can see God working for good.

Are you ready?

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