In the post-Christmas shopping days I went to the store like many others. Was going thru the aisles just like the other customers in the store. Saw a lady leaning on her basket, looked distressed. She was older, slight- seemed like she’d blow away like a feather if you moved by her too fast. I paused about a third of the way down the aisle and looked back- she was still standing there. Another lady came up to her and talked with her as if she knew her. I continued on to finish my shopping and went to the check out. I found myself behind the same lady, who was by now in a wheelchair cart. There were three employees standing by, anxiously watching her. She was on the phone talking with someone quietly. She finished her call as the clerk was completing ringing up the lady’s purchase. By this time she was tearful, apologetic, reassured the clerks repeatedly that she was ok, that she was fine to go to her car and wait for someone to drive her home. An employee called for another employee to accompany the lady to her car. Then the clerks were apologizing to me for taking longer than they felt necessary to serve me.
Now, all this time I had the feeling that I should be concerned in some way for the poor lady who was in distress. Why had I happened down the aisle she had been on? Why did I notice her distress? Why did I happen to get in line behind her?
Should I have stopped to enquire as to her well-being? Should I have offered to accompany her to her car? Should I have offered to drive her home? And were all of these questions that arose a nudge by the Holy Spirit? I’m not sure- but I feel like they were. Either that or it’s an over aware sense of responsibility for others who are not well because I’m a nurse.
The argument, if there is one, could been argued from several directions…. And that’s what’s put me in a quandary. Do I justify my actions to myself by using the latter statement and does that absolve me of accountability before God? Or, do I admit, which is what I think is true, that the Holy Spirit wanted me to step into the situation? The guilt, the sheepishness that I feel, is it a feeling or is it guilt? Or is it a missed opportunity to serve another?
Mordecai was right when he told Esther: “Do not think that because you are in the king’s house you alone of the Jews will escape. For if you remain silent at this time, relief and deliverance for the Jews will arise from another place, but you and your father’s family will perish. And who knows but that you have come to your royal position for such a time as this?” Esther 4:13-14
Whenever, I have refused the Holy Spirit and caused him Sorrow, these verses come to mind like the headlines of a newspaper. God indeed raised up others to serve the lady. She was cared for, but not by me. What blessing did I miss again by not being obedient? I will never know.
I’d like to think that I will not miss the next cue by the Holy Spirit; however, I do know myself well enough to realize that it’s a real possibility. What is it that makes me shrink back from some risks that I feel I was meant to take? And, what will it take to get me to step out into the uncomfortable (for me) unknown when I do step out at other times?
Don’t have an answer yet defined for this. But I’ll stop with this quote from Beth Moore- “Sometimes you can tell the degree to which we’re trying to be God over our own lives, by the degree of heaviness in our hearts, because it is a load to take on God’s job.”