Has the Holy Spirit ever prompted you to go outside your comfort zone?
It recently happened to one of our team members, Sue McFadden.
Sue is a fun lady with a witty personality. She’s a regular on Facebook where she entertains her friends with her love of the Broncos as well as bits and pieces of her life. This weekend, Sue penned a post about what started out as an ordinary, mundane trip to the grocery store… but ended with a divine appointment.
In her post, Sue shared how she noticed a young man by the entrance of the supermarket. He was playing a guitar and singing. Her initial reaction was one I’m sure many of us can identify with:
“I don’t want to deal with this today.”
It can certainly be awkward, or even intimidating, when someone you don’t know asks you for money or confronts you, and that’s what she thought might happen.
But that’s not what this young man did.
Rather, he continued to sing a tune he seemed to make up as he went along. As she walked by him, one word of his song jumped out at Sue:
Sue wrote, “As I shopped, I couldn’t get this kid off my mind.”
So she decided to heed the Holy Spirit’s still, small voice and stopped to talk with the young man as she exited the supermarket.
“So, what’s your story?” Sue asked him.
“What’s my story?” he said, a bit surprised at the question.
The young man, Justin, opened up to Sue. He told her how he recently got out of prison after doing “a stupid thing” and was now working as “one of those crazy guys” on the sidewalk promoting a local business by swinging a sign around. He thought he’d just come over and sing some songs for people.
“I heard you use the word ‘worthless’ in your song,” Sue told him. “Nobody’s worthless.”
Seems like Justin sensed something different about Sue, because he asked her if she goes to church.
“I sure do,” answered Sue. “I love the Lord and He loves me. And He loves you, too.”
Turns out Justin was attending a church, too – and he invited her to drop by and visit one day. Sue encouraged Justin during their talk. He told her he was “done doing stupid stuff.”
She was so moved by their time together that she finished her post asking her friends to pray for her “new friend” Justin.
Perhaps you’re like Sue. Maybe you struggle a bit when you see someone asking for money, hanging out on a sidewalk or by the side of a street.
How should you handle the situation?
I think it’s pretty simple: follow Sue’s example and heed the Holy Spirit’s prompting. He might be leading you to encourage or minister to someone through a “God appointment,” like Sue described her encounter with Justin.
You might even consider preparing yourself for such opportunities by keeping a few re-sealable plastic bags in your car filled with items that will help a homeless or impoverished person. A great family activity can be to fill these “agape bags” together – here are some ideas of what to include:
- Socks (the most-needed and least-donated clothing item at homeless shelters)
- Pre-packaged food (protein bars, lunch kits, dried fruit)
- Toiletries (travel-sized toothbrush and toothpaste, facial wipes, lip balm, hand sanitizer)
- Re-useable water bottle
- Notepad and a pen
- A pocket New Testament or the Gospel of John
- Restaurant gift cards
- A note from you where you share the Gospel and even your testimony
No matter what your divine appointment might look like, it’s exciting to think of the thousand ways God can use you to bless a complete stranger when you’re willing to step outside your comfort zone.
Has the Lord ever put a stranger unexpectedly on your heart? Please consider sharing your story in the comments section. Who knows? You might just encourage someone else to step out in faith.