After reading the blog post entitled “One Rainy Day”, my friend Sarah Erk shared the following story with me. I was so moved by her story that I asked her if she would write it down to share with you here on the blog and she graciously agreed. Enjoy this beautiful story of God’s abundant care. Be blessed!
It was Christmastime and I was on a trip to New York City with a few girlfriends. It had been a rough year. Our family was going through a really difficult church transition and I was in need of refreshment and reminder of God’s faithfulness. Over the next few days, I enjoyed good fellowship with my friends in the city, but I was still left wanting a touch from God. That was when something unexpected happened.
On the train coming back from the city, God inclined my heart toward a man who was grieved. He was talking loudly on his cell phone with his New York accent, telling a loved one that his mother was dying and would not likely make it through the New Year. My heart broke for him as I saw his eyes swell up with tears and I saw the anguished emotion on his face. I began to pray for him and asked God to open up an opportunity for me to encourage him. I could see his reflection in the train window and compassion for him rose in me as the train continued.
Finally, his stop came and he stood up and began to move toward the exit. Again I prayed for an opportunity to connect with the man. As he approached me, he bent over and picked up a balled pair of purple gloves and asked if they belonged to anyone. I realized that the gloves were mine and that this was the opportunity I had been hoping for. I thanked him for returning the gloves and expressed that I had overheard his conversation on the phone about his dying mother.
By expressing my sorrow for the man’s grief, I was able to show compassion to him and also promised to pray for him. His eyes welled up and he gripped my hand and thanked me. The brief exchange had brought him encouragement. I was grateful that God had made a way to connect with him. He departed the train and I breathed a silent prayer for him as he went to see his mother, perhaps for the last time.
A few moments later, I reached into my pocket to retrieve a tissue and, to my surprise, I found my pair of purple gloves there in my pocket! The gloves the man had picked up off the train floor were identical to mine, but they were not mine! It became clear to me that God was showing His faithfulness to me in connecting me to minister to the grieving man! It was just the touch from God that I so desperately needed in my own time of struggle.
This simple situation, ordained by God, brought me a great deal of encouragement in my own faith. God was still there in the midst of my hard time and He was still working through me and showing Himself to others. I felt hope for my life in light of His gracious display of faithfulness. May you see God’s faithfulness anew this Christmas season!
“Because of the Lord’s great love, we are not consumed, for His compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is Your faithfulness.” Lamentations 3:22-23