what I learned from a covered dish

My confession this time:  I think sometimes what I do, seems so insignificant, so small, that it really doesn’t matter.  Especially when there are people out there, doing these great big things for God.

We had been here a little over a year,  fresh out of language school, and trying to figure out what life would look like, and just when I needed it most, God showed me that He is always watching, and there are no small acts in His kingdom.

David and the girls had a met a pastor from Texas at church one Sunday.  This pastor was here with a team, with a different missionary.  They were at our church, just as visitors.  David chatted with him for a while, and found out that his wife was from the same little town I was, Clover S.C. As he was getting ready to go his way, the pastor gave David an ink pen, with the name and phone number of his church.  He sincerely said, “if you ever need anything, or we can help you when your in Texas, let me know.”  He was so genuine about it, David mentioned it to me later that day.

Later that week, I was working at Chica’s house, a ministry started by another missionary here in Costa Rica for 5th and 6th grade girls.  The missionary that was hosting the visiting team from Texas brought the team by to see if they would be interested in some constructions projects still left to be done to the house.  (if I remember correctly)

I stopped him, to tell him how much his thoughtfulness and genuineness meant to my husband.  It is not every day that a pastor reaches out to a missionary, the way he did to Dave.  Especially one not from his district, or one he only had a brief conversation with.  He again said, “I meant it, let us know if you ever need anything.”

Then we started talking about his wife, and the fact that she was from the same little town as I was.  I asked him if he knew where she grew up, and he starting giving me the directions to his mother-in-law’s home.  My mind went up and down the streets, and I knew exactly where he was taking me.FullSizeRender

All of a sudden, I said, “I know your mother-in-law!  I visited her after a surgery.”

Then all of these memories starting pouring into my mind, on how I knew her, and even knew where she lived.

At the beginning of my mom’s chemotherapy,  for almost 2 months, I was on the east coast with my mom and my family, and David and the girls were on the west coast, itinerating (and bless his heart) homeschooling.  So when I went to church, I often sat by myself.  Well eventually I started sitting with a sweet older lady.  She knew my family, and prayed with me for my mom’s healing.  She herself had appointments at one of my mom’s doctors, and we bumped into her there too.

FullSizeRender 2I can’t remember what type of surgery my sweet friend had, but I did what all properly trained southern women do, I took her a covered dish after her surgery.  I sat with her, and she showed me pictures of her daughter, and told me that her daughter had married a preacher, I even got to see the wedding pictures, and hear about how they just loved missionaries, and that I should call them, they would schedule us for a service and invite us to come out to  (you got it)  TEXAS for a service.

 

We visited for a while, and I left more blessed than I could have imagined.  Before leaving I held her sweet hands to pray over her, and before I could say amen, she started praying over me, and my mom.  Big ole tears that I had been holding back for a long time came streaming down my checks.  You could tell this women knew God in an intimate way.  I didn’t realize how much I needed a Godly women to hold hands with for a while, and how much I needed to cry with someone.

This was such a small insignificant moment on earth.

No big God moment.

No miracle.

Just two people.

 

That all came rushing back to my memory at the Chicas house talking to the pastor.  At the time I felt so small, I couldn’t speak great Spanish, I was just there to open the house to the girls so they could play dress up, play games, or do a small craft.  So very small in the grand scheme of ministry.  Seemingly so insignificant.

Just like taking someone a covered dish after surgery.                                                                 Or handing a missionary a pen with the number of the church on it.

When I told the pastor, that I knew his mother-in-law, and that I had seen his wedding pictures, and pictures of his beautiful wife, it seemed way to  to be coincidental.  It was the sovereignty of God, my friend reminded me last night (when I asked permission to share).  He asked if I would write his wife, and share that story with her, as his mother-in-law had since passed away.

I got home, and tried to think of how to start off that message and couldn’t figure out a way, I felt very awkward and hesitant, but the Holy Spirit continued to nudge, until I just told her the entire story.  I got a chance to tell her how proud her mother was of her, and how she prayed for me, and gave to me, and loved me.  None of that surprised the pastor’s wife, those were things that anyone that knew her mom would know.  It was such an honor though, to remind her of her mother’s love for her (especially from one grieving daughter to another)

What I learned, is that whatever small thing you do, you do it as unto the Lord.  I had no ulterior motive, other than visiting my Wednesday night prayer partner.

But God.

But God, saw it from a different vantage point, he could connect all the dots that would come almost 2 years later, He saw the entire story,  in a way that only an all-seeing God would understand.

He knew that a missionary would need to hear, that there was someone who cared.               He Knew the sweet lady didn’t need a covered casserole, but that we each needed friendship.                                                                                                                                               He knew that a grieving daughter would need a gentle reminder of her mother’s love.      He knew that the seemingly insignificant meeting in church in Costa Rica would bring all of those dots together.

Later the church from the great state of Texas picked us up for support, and they continue to support us today.  We even get to host them here in our beautiful country next month.  When my father passed away, the church helped purchase plane tickets for my family as we returned to Clover, to say goodbye.

I believe in Heaven, we will get to see just how many dots God connects, and the beautiful pictures created from all of those dots.

So I learned, that just like in the Bible, God uses strange things, a staff, a burning bush, a donkey . . . to teach people things, I learned that even now he can use a covered dish and a church pen to teach me that He sees, and that He cares.

FullSizeRender 3And that I am not insignificant, what I do has meaning.

May prayer for you, is that you do not grow weary in doing good things, the things that no one sees:  for volunteering in the church nursery now for the 17th year in a row, or for picking up the bulletins in the church that people leave on the pews, filling the communion cups, or the things that happen outside the church walls:  for when you offer to pray for a co-worker, when you take brownies/cookies to your friend on her birthday at school, when you offer to help a single mom buy Christmas gifts for her family, when you drop extra food at the food drive, when you pay for the person behind you in the drive through, you pack an extra lunch for a co-worker, when you mow the lawn for your neighbor, when you say thank you to someone in uniform. . . nothing is too small.

All of the dots are part of a bigger picture.  Don’t stop “dotting” it has a purpose.

Galatians 9-10 9 And let us not get tired of doing what is right, for after a while we will reap a harvest of blessing if we don’t get discouraged and give up.

 

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