I took the phone call on Sunday evening. I knew their family was having a hard time. Sometimes it’s hard to know how to help. But I know I can listen. My wife has taught me that. Just listen. People just need someone to listen. I like to think I have learned a little about listening. There is something about just showing them you care, telling them you will pray for them, maybe even actually praying for them or with them. Things changed in my walk with God when I overcame my fear of just praying with people.
That night I listened. Insurance problems. They needed $500. Her husband’s medication wasn’t going through and he had to have it. They had been on the phone for hours to no avail. I asked her how much they could swing. “I’m not sure,” is the reply on the other end. “Find out and let’s get back together tomorrow,” I tell her.
I pray about it. “Father, make it clear.” Within about five minutes, I receive a two hundred dollar donation. Is that my answer? I feel like it is.
The next morning I am riding to work. I get a message from her. She says, “I think we can come up with $300.” Sounds about right. I’ll get the $200. I stopped by the ATM that morning and picked up what she would need. I am grateful to God for providing. It’s really awesome to be a part of. I tell her to come by Sparkman Middle during my planning period to pick up the money. She confirms. God is good. I knew that already. He still had something for us.
My planning time came and went without her ever coming by the school. I had a message on my phone, “The insurance went through. Everything is good. Don't need the money. Praise God. Thank you. Thank you.”
I like messages like that. I smiled. God is good...way better than that actually. I went on about my business. Ten minutes later, I am walking down the hall, when it struck me. “God, I know You told me to get that money. I was sure of it. What now?” I am totally confused. It’s not the first time He has confused me. Won’t be the last. It’s kind of fun actually.
I’m walking down the hall and see one of my co-workers passing. “Give her half,” He speaks to my heart. Instant.
“Give her half?”
Okay. I put it in an envelope. Write her name on it. Stick it in her mailbox. Go back to class. I would later find out she needed that half...to the dollar... for a utility bill. Single mom. Trying to put a kid through college. Had some family visit that month and spent a little extra on groceries.
I sit down. “And the other half?”
He tells me to take it to another co-worker.
“Why?” Because I totally have the right to question God.
“Tell him to buy his wife flowers with it.”
Again, because I have a right to ask, “Why?”
“She doesn’t know that he loves her anymore.”
I knock on the door. Hand him the money. “Hey....ummm...I need you to take this money and buy your wife some flowers.”
“Why?” He asks.
“Don’t know. But it’s from God. I’m just saying.”
“I don’t want your money. I can buy my wife flowers.”
“Take the money. I am supposed to give it to you. You can use it however you see fit. But I was told to give it to you. How are y’all doing by the way?”
He gets really quiet. Makes one of those faces like it’s really hard to talk about.
I intervene in the silence, “Let me ask you this question. Does she know that you love her?”
“Yeah, man.” Instant reply. Then a long pause. He starts to fight back tears. “Well, to tell you the truth, man, I don't even know.”
“Hey dude. I love you, bro. Let me buy the flowers.”
“Ok.” He says. “Thank you, man.” He gives me a hug.
The next morning he comes in, seeks me out. “Hey we need to talk.”
“Sure thing. What’s up?”
“My wife left work yesterday for a doctor’s appointment. I had no idea. She didn’t tell me. They had found a spot they were concerned about. Turns out it wasn’t anything. They told her yesterday. She had been waiting since Friday. When she got back to work from the doctor, the flowers were there. I didn’t even know that was going on. I’ve never bought my wife flowers before. Didn’t even know she cared about flowers. She came home last night and we went to dinner together. We had the best time we’ve had in ten years. I just wanted to say ‘thanks again.’”
“Don’t thank me, dude. But I am glad to hear it!”
“Lord, even before I say a word, you already know it. You are all around me - in front and in back - and have put your hand on me. Your knowledge is amazing to me; it is more than I can understand.” Psalms 139:4-6