“By small and simple things are great things brought to pass” Alma 37:6
I was at the grocery store, waiting, more like lurking, around the checkout counters. I was on the exit side near the doors. I had been on my way out and ready to get back into my car when I saw a young girl, maybe 10?, with big, wavy brown hair and felt I should tell her that I liked it.
I fought the impression, reminding myself that there would be plenty of other people to compliment and I didn’t need to chase this girl down for such a small reason, but the feeling persisted.
I felt like this was an unwise use of my time, but I tried to obey the prompting anyway. I went back inside to find this one girl and stopped just inside the doors. The store was swimming with people and there was no way I’d be able to track her down if I tried.
I decided to wait (read: lurk) by the checkouts. I just sat in my wheelchair looking a little lost. Maybe I was. Why was I even doing this? I was sure this 10-year-old girl would have a fine enough day if a random, semi-creepy, lady in a wheelchair who followed her into the store didn’t tell her that she liked her hair.
A blonde lady stopped as she passed me on her way out and asked if I was Meg Johnson. I was feeling insecure and I wasn’t sure if I wanted anyone to know it was me. But we had a nice chat for a few minutes and I was able to tell her I thought she had beautiful eyes – maybe she was the one I was always supposed to compliment? I hoped so. I rolled outside with the blonde lady and we continued to chat and laugh. We talked about our kids, husbands, cars, and jobs – I hoped I was making a difference for her day, but really, she was making mine!
I was about to give up on the brown-haired girl, when she walked by with her dad as the blonde lady and I were talking. I called out to her and told her how much I loved her hair! She looked at me weird, like I was creepy (I’m very glad that she has no idea…) as her dad smiled and reminded her to say thank you. A quick “Thanks.” was her response.
I hoped she felt terrific because my compliment was so amazingly unforgettable and needed that day, but I secretly think that she and her big, brown hair would have been fine without me. I was a little disgruntled, was my time of so little value in heaven?
To walk with faith, we sometimes have to walk away from our own to-do lists and do what needs doing as we obey the whispered promptings. And sometimes we get rewarded to know we were on the Lord’s errand! And sometimes we don’t.
But I am telling you this story to remind you – and me! – that even when we don’t immediately understand the reason we were told to do what we did, there was one. To follow Jesus Christ, we sometimes have to simply trust that He knows what He’s doing. Even if we have no idea.
For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts. Isaiah 55:8-9
I later discovered a reason why I’d had the feeling to follow the brown-haired girl back into the store. I was needed by someone, just not her.
One year after I lurked around the checkout stands waiting for the brown-haired girl, I was having dinner with the parents of a newly paralyzed 16 year-old girl. We didn’t know each other, but they had reached out for help and I invited them to come over to see my wheelchair accessible house as they made plans to renovate theirs. The mom had blonde hair and beautiful eyes that smiled as she reminded me that we’d actually met once before. At a grocery store.
God knows all things and He knew this mom’s teenage daughter would be paralyzed shortly. So He showed her a happy (semi-creepy) wheelchair-using mom who was able to provide a glimpse to the other side of the awful that she would shortly have to pass through.
If we knew why God was sending us, I think we would all readily, happily, and eagerly toss aside our own to-do lists and go. But that would not be walking with faith. As we practice hearing Heaven, we can rest assured that our time is valuable and those who prompt us are using it wisely.
Keep on Rollin’