Experiencing God's Love Through the 'Least of These'

I have been in such a "waiting" room lately. Just waiting and wanting to hear from the Lord. He has been so silent with me lately. I have persevered through this time and have just kept my focus on Him, whether He showed up or not. I have been waiting for answers and reasons and directions. All I get is "wait" and "do what you already know to do".

As this time has passed, I have felt the pull of my heartstrings toward the poor, needy, helpless, fatherless, widows and elderly. I have always had a place in my heart for them, yet lately I have felt compelled to "get my hands in it". Twice this month, the Lord has sent me two "angels". I'll call them angels even though I doubt they really are. But I do believe with all my heart, they were sent to me by the Father to stir my heart even farther. In this time of silence, I have been given two beautiful, "loud" glimpses of God, and his love and compassion.

My first brush with God's work in the flesh was a few weeks ago, coming home on a plane from Florida with my children (now 6, 8, 14). My husband had to stay in Florida for some business. On the flight TO florida, I had enough trouble trying not to have a panic attack- and my husband was with us. I have some slight problems with anxiety :) I dreaded the thought of coming home with 3 children, by myself. Going through security, getting our luggage, the flight...I had never had to do this before.

As I boarded the plane for the trip back to our home state, I was seated across the aisle from my 3 children, and there was an older gentleman sitting next to me near the window. He was very quiet and held his head down quite a bit. I debated whether I should say anything to him and I didn't know if he spoke english. He looked hispanic and I saw on his papers in his hand that his last name was spanish. I took the plunge and asked if he was going to Cincinnati also. He spoke up in a very thick hispanic accent, that he was going to see his son in Alabama. He said that his son was a sargeant in the military and would soon be sent off to Iraq in just a couple of weeks. In broken English, this man started telling me all about himself, that he was in the Vietnam war and he had come to America to learn some english and to learn to cook. He was still very upset about being in Vietnam. It was very apparent on his face. He was sad to see his son go to Iraq because he felt that he might not come back. He explained a little to me about how vietnam was for him and my heart just went out to him. They had not known English enough to understand the directions they were given, which resulted in many deaths. He was also concerned about how they were trained to "kill, kill, kill" everyone, not just men. He had such devastation in his eyes.

He also shared with me that he saw a psychiatrist about his memories and fear; and that he was on some antidepressant medication. I don't know why, but he felt very comfortable opening up to me, so I just let him talk. He seemed like such a broken man. I just wondered how many people ever give him the time of day.

I was so focused on him talking to me and trying to let Jesus love him through me, that I didn't have any worries on the plane! The moment I realized that God had planned this so perfectly, I was so thankful! I could see that I was there to be a listening ear and to pray for him (which I am still doing) and he was there to keep me occupied and keep me from flipping out! :)

I had a book by John Piper on my Lap called "Don't waste Your Life". He wanted to see it and read some of it out loud to me to show me his reading ability. This brought up the subject of Christ and living for his glory. I had noticed that He had crossed himself when we took off, so i knew that he had a belief in God. We talked a bit about Christ and living for Him. It was hard because I couldn't understand everything he said, and he couldn't understand all of what i said. But I trusted God would make do.

At one point, he took out his I.D.s and his veterans card, etc...just to show me more about himself and I looked at his name... his first name was "Angel". I almost cried when I saw that. I felt that he was truly sent by God for me.. and I for him. He kept repeating the phrases "don't waste your life" and don't waste your time". He had a hard time understanding the difference at first. But even now I keep hearing him say "don't waste your life and don't waste your time".

As we departed at the airport, he shook my children's hands and explained as best he could, to "respect your parents", "do your responsibilities" and "don't watch too much t.v.". I told him that I would be praying for him and his son. He was grateful- and so was I. To this day, I am praying for healing and restoration in his heart and life.

For the first time in quite awhile, this was a glimpse of God and his love and compassion- in such a personal way. I felt as if I was ministering to the "least of these", but that he also was ministering to me more than I would ever know. God ministered through us both, to us both.

Matthew 25:40 'Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did it to one of the least of these My brethren, you did it to Me.'

To be continued with my second "Experience of God's Love Through the "Least of These" pt.2"....

Many, many blessing to you all, Chanin