This passage brought a tear (or maybe a few more) while I was reading it on the bus last Friday. Excerpt from Adam Hamilton’s “Why?”:
This last Christmas our church delivered Christmas baskets to all of our worshipers who are currently unemployed. Each of our pastors and a number of our laypeople committed to deliver baskets. On Sunday after our 10:45 A.M. service, I sat down at m desk and began calling the list of persons I was delivering to. The first call was to a woman name “Carrie.” When she answered I said, “Carrie, this is Pastor Adam Hamilton from the Church of the Resurrection, and I was wondering if I could stop by to drop off a Christmas gift basket from the church. It is a small reminder that God has not forgotten you, and that God loves you. Would it be okay if I stopped by this afternoon to drop the basket off for you?” There was silence on the other end of the phone, and then I heard Carrie begin to cry.
I sought to console her, and after a few minutes, she pulled herself together, thanked me, and said she’d love for me to stop by. An hour later I stopped by her apartment. I presented her the basket, gave her a hug, and told her once again that my visit was a small reminder of God’s continued love for her. She said, “Can I tell you why I was crying when you called earlier?” She had a piece of paper in her hand. She said, “I was so discouraged this morning I could not even bring myself to go to church. I watched the service online today. As the service was ending I wrote this prayer,
Where and why? These are my questions. I looked around and see the ugly afteraffects of what God has given us. I am not blaming God, but I am asking, Where are you? I need you! I need help! And no matter how hard I try, I am not getting better. I say your will be done, but it is so hard. I’m not Jesus. I am so weak. I need a break. I need love, I need you Lord. Please, wrap your arms around me and give me your peace. Give me your strength, give me your hope. Let me want to believe and not fear.
She continued, “I had just finished writing this prayer asking for God to show me he still loved me and to wrap his arms around me when the phone rang. I was astounded when I heard your voice on the other end of the line! And then, the first words out of your mouth were ‘I’m calling to bring a gift from the church – a sign that God loves you and has not forgotten you.’ I was speechless; I have never had a prayer answered so quickly before.” I did not know I was answering her prayer. I was just dropping off a Christmas basket. But God had something more in mind.
I had the opportunity to be a messenger of God, Carrie found strength and encouragement, and I was blessed. We can’t always see God’s mysterious ways of working. We can’t always see what God is up to or how many people God prompts before finally someone says yes. But I believe God is constantly working like this. The task for us is to make ourselves available to God each day and to pay attention. By doing this we become the hands and voice of God for others and in this way God answers prayer and works in our world.
To: Whoever may be reading this,
Perhaps me re-posting this excerpt after it touched me is God’s way of using me to tell you that God has not forotten you and that He loves you very much. “Never will I leave u; never will I forsake u.”