today I was the answer; as opposed to the problem, the plea or the question, which is more often the case; but not today. Today was trash day and it was early; these are the facts of the matter. I had played my usual game of “beat the trash truck” and won, (my trash was out and the truck was no where in sight) I set out on my morning walk through the neighborhood. I like walking at this time when the sun is not fully up and the people are not fully out. It is quiet. I get lost in my own thoughts.
Which is why I probably didn’t hear her calling my name at first. She was across the street and almost hidden behind the large blue trash bin on wheels, no wonder I hadn’t noticed her, the trash bin is taller than she is. She asked me to help her lift a large grey trash bin full to the top of yard and tree trimmings into the waiting blue trash bin on wheels. (and I thought I was up early, she had been working in her yard all this time, I mean how long must it take to fill one of these things up?)
Now this was no easy task considering her size and mine; kind of like the blind leading the blind. I am small, not someone you would call in when you needed “muscle” (but remember there was no one else around at this time) and I tower over this neighbor in need. Surprisingly, we succeeded at our task in only a short time (she too, was playing the weekly game of “beat the trash truck”) and I was ready to continue my walk.
It was then she said these words to me, “You were an answer to my prayer, I was telling God I can’t do this, I need someone to help me.” I can’t really describe the quiet joy that filled my heart at that moment. I understood completely what she meant, because so often various, kind people (known and unknown) are the answers to my prayers. God always sends them at just the right time. But at this moment I was allowed the sacred privilege of being the answer to her prayer.
I really love being “the answer” for someone else, for anyone else. I can’t think of anything more affirming than being used by my Heavenly Father. This was seemingly such a small service that I rendered her but her words showed that she saw God’s hand in it. I am always looking to see God at work in the really big things of my life and of the lives of those I love. But experiencing God in the details of my daily life is so profoundly and simultaneously comforting and thrilling that it takes me by surprise every time, filling me with awe and gratitude to God all over again.
Who am I that God would use me? and yet He does! I guess my prayer is that I would more often be the answer to someone’s prayer than I would ever be the cause of their need for prayer. May I never be too busy or too blind to see God in the mundane moments of my life, this life He’s graciously given me. What if I had foolishly thought myself too busy to cross the street and help my neighbor this morning? I would have missed not only the opportunity to do good to someone who needed my help, I would have missed God’s revelation of Himself to me in that ordinary moment of being His hands and His feet to someone He loves.
For it is in those unexpected moments of suspending my own agenda to meet another’s need that I experience God’s presence in such a personal and powerful way, that the moment lingers, leaving me longing for more clear glimpses of my God at work behind the scenes. Nevertheless, I continued my walk (by faith) this morning, feet on the ground, heart soaring, praising God and thanking Him that for that briefest of moments I could be His answer to someone else’s prayer. I can’t imagine any higher calling or joy in life than this.
“From the east I summon a bird of prey; from a far-off land , a man to fulfill My purpose. What I have said, that will I bring about; what I have planned, that will I do.” (Isaiah 46:11)
“The King will reply, ‘I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of Mine, you did for Me.’ ” (Matthew 25:40)
sincerely, Grace Day