An acquaintance came to Amy’s door one afternoon unannounced and said, “I have this bookmark I’ve been waiting to give to you.” “I hope you don’t mind that I didn’t call before I came.” Well, the truth was that Amy did mind a little because there were dishes in the sink from the night before, and she was in the middle of finishing a small quilt project. She was also expecting to get some piled up correspondence completed and iron several of her husband’s shirts for the week.
Amy was a warm and inviting person, always ready to lend a hand or an ear, but lately she was too preoccupied with being busy. She couldn’t figure out why interacting with people brought aggravation to her when it used to bring such joy. ‘Maybe it has something to do with not being as organized with my time as I was when I was younger,’ she would ponder once in a while.
Sarah had been a little bit of a busy body, but seemed to be mellowing with the passing of time. Her new air of gentleness and patience was quite noticeable and welcomed. Blessed with five grandchildren, she always had a story to tell or a picture to show. Today it seemed that she wasn’t going to share any stories of them however.
Amy let Sarah in without excuse. Immediately, her mind began to race toward the real reason Sarah showed so unexpectedly. She thought for a brief second, ‘It couldn’t be just to give me that bookmark. It’s pretty, but…’ And her thought quickly trailed as her friend started in with small talk. Amy knew that this was an opportunity for – something, but she just didn’t know what it was yet.
Sarah was pleasant and delighted to be there. “I forgot how bright and cheerful your home is,” she complemented.
“Thanks,” quipped Amy and continued with: “We finally put finishing touches on with new windows several months ago and now we’re finished with big house projects for a while.”
For the next 90 minutes Sarah led Amy through a maze of topics mostly related to her and her husband’s health sagas and the health of others around them. She also discussed what it feels like to get older and have so many doctor appointments because her body was breaking down.
Another problem Sarah mentioned was that of her sin and how she still struggled with it. Somehow she didn’t think it should be such a conflict now, but Amy was able to assure her that everyone would continue to wrestle in some type of sin until their earthly life was over. In the end Amy knew that Sarah really just wanted a listening ear and some encouragement.
As the two sat on the comfortable couch and talked it became clearer that Sarah needed some physical help too, but didn’t want to ask outright.
Sarah was compelled to leave now as she was aware that she had interrupted Amy’s day, “Well, I’ve got to go, and thanks for taking some time to visit with me.”
But now Amy wanted her to stay even more and responded, “Please don’t go until we pray together.”
As Sarah took her turn to pray, some of her words reverberated loudly in Amy’s mind, “Lord, thank you for giving me the idea of the bookmark to bring here today so that I could talk to Amy about my needs and struggles….” She went on, but Amy didn’t hear.
The bookmark: Amy had forgotten about it, but it was lying beside her glass of water on the coffee table. She picked it up and read from Psalm 19:” 8 The precepts of the LORD are right, giving joy to the heart. The commands of the LORD are radiant, giving light to the eyes.”
As with all of scripture, certain phrases and words seem to pop out at different times as the Holy Spirit leads and guides our hearts. Today what Amy perceived loud and clear were two parts: The Lord’s precepts are what give joy to the heart and the phrase, “giving light to the eyes.”
‘Giving light to the eyes,’ Amy thought. ‘Lord, give me eyes to see the needs of those who stand right in front of me requiring assistance. And thank you for rekindling my joy by adjusting my thinking.’
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