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Writer, Retreat Leader, Resource Creator
This is a prayer I have become familiar with lately: “God, use me today for Your will.”
I pray this prayer every Monday when I enter the chapel at MCSO (Medical Center of Southeast Oklahoma) before I begin my rounds. I pray this prayer when I am enthusiastic. Often I prayer this prayer when I am tired (I work on Mondays at our church’s Mother’s Day Out program, and often feel pretty tired by the end of the day–then I go home, change clothes and head out to the hospital). Often I pray this prayer hoping God won’t use me, but most of the time, God does. Most of the time, there is someone–a visitor, a patient, a nurse–who just needed someone to talk to and to have someone listen to them that very day.
Last Wednesday I took AJ to the park. I noticed a man in one part of the park with a duffel bag. I thought to myself, “he’s either homeless or a drug dealer.” I went to a different part of the park with AJ. On Friday, New Year’s Eve, I saw the same man, same clothes, at the same park. This time, there were more people at the park. After AJ and I played a while, I went and got the stroller to do my usual laps around the park for exercise. As I walked the first lap, I prayed that prayer. “God, use me today for Your will.” And I knew God would have me speak to that man.
As it was, he came up to me on my third lap around and asked me for money. Told me his story–got a ride to Durant and was stuck here for a few days (it’s a familiar story–Durant is a crossroads in Southern Oklahoma, 2 hours away from Dallas, 2.5 hours away from OKC and almost three to Tulsa). Unfortunately, being New Year’s Eve, there wasn’t much that was open. I listened to him tell me his story, and told I would come back to help. After I finished my laps I went back to the car. I had five bucks, and I gave it to him.
I’ve been inspired lately by the words of Jesus, and a few friends trying to live Jesus’ way fully in their lives. I’ve been inspired by the blogger PeaceBang (see the link to her blog) and have followed her on Facebook as she has attempted to give to anyone who has asked of her over the past year.
This guy might have been a drug dealer. He might have been one to take my five bucks and go get alcohol. He might have taken it to the convenience store and bought cigarettes–or maybe he bought a snack. I have no idea. All I know is that he was in need and I did what I could to help. Giving five bucks doesn’t buy my way into heaven. All I hope is that it might have helped him a bit.
And today, as I wrote my previous entry on hospitality, I wrote that the two women came for dinner last night and didn’t stay overnight, but that I wouldn’t have been opposed to it had there been a need. Well, they are back tonight, and they are staying overnight (they have a ride out of town tomorrow). God, use me today for Your will. Amen.