Does God speak to you? Ever wondered if people who claim to have heard God are a little bit… well, dubious? Many Christians claim to have heard God, and I am sure some are aware of an audible voice. I usually find that God might put a thought into my head, which I need to consider, or sometimes – mostly, in fact- I am aware of a gentle nudge.
Take this morning.
I needed to get to our post office in town, usually busy and often frantic at this time of year. I dreaded trying to park, as Chelmsford is notoriously difficult at “normal “times, let alone in the Christmas Season. But as I approached a smaller car park, the entranceway flashed up that the car park was full. I would normally have left it, but I tried it anyway, and found a car parking space, in “pole position” for ease of getting in and out.
Thank you Lord.
I did a few errands, and then breathed in to psych myself up for the queues I assumed would be in the post office. Our post office is now located in our local large branch of WH Smith, with a Costa coffee there, too (they get everywhere!) The queues were surprisingly small, so I got my parcels and overseas cards sent off no problem.
Thank you Lord.
Decided to treat myself to a hot drink in Costa, and was stood in line behind a tiny older woman. Then came The Nudge; “Buy her drink as well as your own”. Not difficult in itself, but how to do it? Decided to go for the direct approach.
“Excuse me, my love” says I.”Can you do me a favour?”
Huge beaming smile on her face; “Yes of course, what is it?”
“Will you let me buy you something here?”
“Oh no, my dear, that is very kind”
“It will be my pleasure. May I?”
She graciously accepted, and I bought our drinks, and then asked if she minded some company while we sat down.
Turns out her name was Muriel, “Though everyone calls me Midge, my dear. That’s ‘cos when you are the youngest of 9 children, and born small, everyone called you a Midget. I was as big as an old glass pint bottle of milk. So I’ve been Midge all my life”
She taught me the lesson of slowing down, enough to share a simple drink with a complete stranger. She confessed she really needed a drink, and told me how the best gift she could have this Christmas is for her family to grant her wish to spend Christmas in her own flat. That way, she does not have to cope with the hustle and bustle of 10 grandchildren and 8 great-grandchildren, she is not “forced” to stay overnight and “re-do it all for a second day running”, she gets to sleep in her own bed, and not to have to turn her oil-filled radiators off for 2 days and come home to a freezing flat.
Midge taught me again never to assume something; always check. My prayer is that Midge gets her wish this Christmas. I listened to God’s nudge, and had an extremely lively and pleasant time, being highly aware of God’s timing today.
- Never ignore God’s nudge. You have no idea how someone else may appreciate the smallest of gestures
- Never underestimate just how closely God sets up appointments, people and timings, for you
- Never assume you know what someone actually needs, especially at Christmas. It might not be what you think is best….