Tuesday, January 20, 2015

One Leaf

Donna didn’t know what she was going to do. How had everything fallen apart so quickly? Just a month ago she shared a warm home with her three adopted children. But when the landlord refused to fix their bathroom for weeks on end, she reported him to the health department and immediately was evicted, two days after paying their rent for the month. Her brother had offered to let Donna and the children stay at his home, but while he was away for days at a time driving a truck, his wife had become angry and abusive toward the children. Finally she gave Donna an ultimatum, forcing her to leave.

Now, here she was, sleeping in her car. The three kids huddled together in the back seat as the temperature dipped into the twenties. An empty can of ravioli on the floorboard reminded her of the cold supper they’d shared that night. Tears flowed down her face and her shoulders shook with sobs of grief. As she reached for a tissue, she saw a large, dry maple leaf lying on her son’s book bag. When she had picked him up from school that day, he told her it was a souvenir from his field trip to the camp. It brought back memories of how excited her children had been after returning from South Mountain Christian Camp last summer, and how that excitement had been renewed when a school field trip took them back to the camp in the fall. Could the camp help us now? she wondered.

The next morning, thirty minutes after dropping the kids off at school, she stood in our office, sharing her story with me, humbly asking if I knew anyone who could help. Then the next step in God’s plan for Donna began to unfold as I put her in touch with our good friends at The Grace of God Rescue Mission. They made arrangements to meet with her so that she could get the help she needed—hot meals and a place to stay for her and the children. Her countenance changed as thankfulness flowed out of her like a fountain of joy. I reminded her that God has not forgotten about her. We prayed together, and she headed on her way with renewed hope that Jesus was still at work in her life.

This is just one more example of the Kingdom of God at work. While we weren’t the ones equipped to help Donna, The Lord used the experience her kids had here to get her to the right place to receive help. We're just one leaf in the mighty tree of God's kingdom, but in this case, that leaf was the first step toward restoration. God can use you too, every day. Look for ways to have a positive impact on the world around you, and you'll find that He is able to work through you more powerfully that you might think. It's always exciting to be a part of God's plan.