Right now I have the privilege of leading a middle school girls small group through my church. For those of you who are not familiar with the term “small group” it’s how we get people connected to each other in our church. When you attend a church of fourteen thousand, staying connected has to be intentional. So we offer small groups of all different flavors to make sure people are connected and cared for.
My particular group of girls meets at Starbucks. We eat, drink, talk, pray, and learn together. Right now we are going through a book by Max Lucado and his daughter, Jenna Lucado Bishop called, You Were Made To Make A Difference. It’s all about helping young people understand that God wants to use them for His purposes now, and that they don’t have to wait until they graduate or become adults to be truly useful for the Kingdom.
We are exploring ways that they can impact the people around them- in their homes, schools, and communities. We’ve prayed together and asked God to open our eyes to the hurting people around us, and for bold hearts willing to reach out and make a difference. I’m not just expecting this for my girls, if I am truly going to lead them, I have to set an example. So I prayed for God to show me someone regularly in my path that I can lift up and show His love.
When you do that, you know what happens? He shows you someone. Every time. You’ll almost trip over them. Why? Because He really wants us to go get them. He actually wants us to be His hands and His feet. He does. So guess what He did when I asked Him to point out someone in my path that needs Him? He pointed out someone in my path that needs Him.
We call her “Happy”. We call her that because we don’t know her name. We call her that because it’s kind of funny, well sort of. It’s really a misnomer, because she seems everything but happy. I’m talking about the lady who cleans the office I share with my coworkers at the hospital. She doesn’t like to talk, unless it’s to get onto us for being messy. In all honesty, we can be messy. Sometimes. We’re trying to be less messy so Happy won’t get onto us.
I’ve started watching Happy. There is almost a palpable…. sadness about her. She spends her day going through the motions of her job, with a resentment attached to her tasks. She pulls a big cart with her that holds all the tools of her trade. It has mops, brooms, cleaning products and a large trashcan. The way she pulls it around, you’d think it was a burden weighing a ton.
She’s constantly looking down. I’ve tried hard to make eye contact, but it’s impossible to do with someone who never looks up. I’ve tried greeting her, but the most I have ever gotten in response was a grunt, and I’m not really sure it was to me as much as at me.
The office I share with my coworkers is small. It holds three desks four chairs, a small storage cabinet, and our ultrasound machine. There is barely enough room for people. So when Happy comes in to clean, she is a formidable presence. She is reaching in and around us to clean the carpet, and empty our garbage can… all while not speaking to us.
Last week we enjoyed a nice cake someone brought to us. We apparently enjoyed it all over the floor, so to keep Happy from getting onto us, my boss went around picking up the crumbs off the floor. What would have taken Happy fifteen seconds to do with her sweeper, took my boss several minutes- all to keep from being in trouble with our cleaning lady.
Well, I asked God to show me who I am supposed to reach out to, and just like clockwork, He did. I wish He had showed me someone else. He didn’t. I asked Him to. Nope. It’s Happy. Now that He’s shown me who, I sure hope He shows me how. I have a feeling Happy’s going to be a tough nut to crack. But God is pursuing her, and she doesn’t even know it.
It’s kind of cool being in the know on something God is doing for someone else. I’ll let you know how it’s going…. But in the meantime, will you pray for Happy? And while you’re praying, maybe you could ask God to show you someone who needs Him… I promise, He will.
In the meantime, I just couldn’t resist: