I find it extraordinary when God takes two people, who might not have met otherwise, and places them together.
My husband forgot his wallet one morning. This event alone has never happened before, so already the day seemed quite unusual. The kids and I headed downtown to deliver the wallet. Around the outskirts of Temple Square, a block that holds one of the temples of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (nicknamed the Mormons), one can see several panhandlers all looking for a monetary handout. It’s been years since I’ve carried any cash with me, and so I usually just try to greet them with a smile.
One particular woman approached me and asked for money. . . change. . . anything I might have to spare. I hated to tell her I honestly didn’t have anything. Her face absolutely crumpled. At that moment I stopped. I couldn’t help myself. I reached out and took her in my arms. She was desperately hoping to find enough money to take her kids somewhere to sleep that night. I expressed my wish to help, but that I simply didn’t carry money with me. It was hard to walk away, even with her reassurances that everything was fine.
There are ATM’s in the building where my husband works, and I took out some money. I simply couldn’t get her out of my head. We visited with Daddy for a few minutes and headed back out to the car. I prayed I would see her on the way. Sure enough, she was right where we’d left her. As I handed her the money, what little we could afford, I couldn’t resist and once again gave her a hug. She began to cry, and then said something I don’t think I’ll ever forget.
“Thank you,” she said. “Most of all thank you for seeing me. Most people won’t even look.”
I asked for her name, wondering when the last time someone had used it in love. Samantha. Isn’t that beautiful. I told Samantha I’m so glad I got to meet her today, and I am. I think God put the two of us together that day for a reason.
This post is by no means encouraging you to go around finding those who are homeless and giving them money. Instead I’d ask you to take a moment to think about all the youth who have struck out in horrible ways in recent years, most often because of how they have been treated by those around them. How many of those teens had the same hopeless, helpless attitude? How many felt as though it had been so long since someone really looked at them, asked their name, and spoke it in love?
We may not be able to control the actions of those around us, but we can control ourselves. Because I stopped and listened to the promptings of the Holy Spirit that day, I will never be able to hear the name Samantha without thinking of a mother just trying her best in horrible circumstances to take care of her family. It’s hard to say what little influence I might have had on her, but she is now imprinted upon my heart. I am the one who came away blessed.
Take a moment and really look at those around you, and ask the Lord to guide you to someone who just needs to be seen today.