I found an interesting tip for making your own personalized dinnerware. You buy the cheap white china from the Dollar Store and write on it with a porcelain pin. Then you bake them in the oven for 30 minutes.
It’s a great idea for the crafty folk out there who are living on a budget but like stylized personal items. However, on reading this, my mind went immediately to how often the small things we do make a permanent mark on the lives of others and ourselves. A touch can lift the spirit of another person. Stopping to care could guarantee that life is lived a bit better and longer.
Yesterday afternoon, as I traveled home using the Atlanta airport, a woman who was probably in her 80′s stood in the mass of people, turning in circles. As I passed, she softly touched my sleeve. “Can you tell me where a McDonald’s or Arby’s might be?” In an instant, I was in love with this tender soul who had reached out for help. Her touch was gentle and kind. Her eyes revealed her helpless state of mind.
I pointed her to the restaurant and walked away, anxious to find my gate, even though I still had two hours before the plane left. I felt the Holy Spirit say to me, “Go with her. Help her with her meal.” Ignoring the prompting of the Lord, I didn’t turn back but headed in what I thought was the direction of my plane. But I was headed the wrong way. I turned back and found that my gate was next to the McDonald’s.
The older woman was at the McDonald’s counter with another helpful customer who was assisting her with the order and helping to pay her bill. I was sad that I had missed the opportunity to serve. “Someone else got the blessing I intended for you,” I heard the Spirit nudge my spirit.
I knew I couldn’t break in the food line and that it would take a while for the women to get their food. I thought I would walk a few more steps, survey my gate and then return to find the confused lady. I resolved to sit with her while she ate her dinner and perhaps help her find her plane. But when I returned, she was gone. The other helpful customer was there; but the older lady could not be found.
Of course, there are many times that we miss the mark. (That is the definition of sin, isn’t it?) As I sat and ate my McDonald’s salad, I asked the Lord to make this incident a permanent mark on my life. I prayed that I would learn from this misplaced blessing. Without condemnation from the gentle Shepherd, I wanted to never forget a lost woman who only needed a few minutes of my time.