Saturday, April 4, 2015

Good Friday, Fleas, and Angels Unawares

"Lord, forgive us for the times we have read about Gethsemane with dry eyes." F.S. Leahy

Today is Good Friday. Bill took David and I out for breakfast. Our table conversation was invigorating! We discussed the events that preceded the crucifixion. Each time I review the last days of Jesus, His sacrifice seems even more intense, more tragic...and I am in awe of the One Who did this for me.

In yesterday's post, we talked about the angel that God sent to strengthen Jesus as He agonized over the events that would soon unfold. Has God ever sent you an angel? I don't think about angels much.
I do, however, believe that if God allowed our eyes to really see all that is actually going on around us, we would be amazed at how active angels are in our everyday activities. The verse in Hebrews 13 that mentions meeting "angels unawares" has long fascinated me. I really think it would be phenomenal if we could really find out if the people we meet from time to time are indeed angels!

My angel story took place in a shoe store. The year was 1984. I had just given birth to David, my first baby. My parents and sisters drove down to welcome our new family member. During this time, my mother was able to convince me that I should sell our beloved cocker spaniel. Now, you need to realize I was still rather new living in the South. I was completely naive when it came to a lot of things that pertained to being a wife and a mother and a resident of Mississippi. One of the things I had no idea about was fleas. Our dog had fleas! I had no idea!! I have been the owner of many dogs over my lifetime, and NEVER had I seen a flea. Well, when we sold the dog, guess how we found out that our furry friend had been hiding a secret? You guessed it...those fleas were all over us. All over my sisters. All over my parents. It was like reliving one of those Old Testament plagues!!

Long story short, after our guests returned to Michigan, I called an exterminator. He advised me to leave our home for a few hours so baby David wouldn't be exposed to the chemicals. No problem, I thought. David and I could easily spend a few hours at the mall. This would be my very first time leaving the house with David by myself. I struggled getting David into his car seat. I struggled even more trying to collapse the stroller and get it into the back of the station wagon! Remember station wagons?

We were about a mile down the road when David began to cry. Not a "cry" was more like a shrill, ear-piercing alarm that would. not. stop.  I pulled over to the side of the road and had all I could do to not join in on the crying. This was NOT the easy-peasy trip I had envisioned. We drove on to the mall. I parked the car and struggled with the stupid stroller again. I finally got it all set up, engaged the breaks, and unbuckled our little boy from his car seat. I was ready to put him in the stroller, but the stroller was gone! Well, not really was rolling on its own through the parking lot! Now what? Do I leave my baby to run after the stroller? . I had a quick vision of me appearing in the local news. "Baby kidnapped as mother is caught running through parking lot." I tightly held on to Davd as we made our way to the renegade stroller. I wrestled that thing back, got David situated, and we entered the mall. As soon as we started to shop, guess who started crying again. I pushed that stupid stroller over to the fitting rooms, locked myself in a room, and fed David. As he finished his bottle, he treated me to my first experience with a mess that his little diaper could not contain. When I say it went everywhere, I REALLY mean it went everywhere. I ran out of baby wipes. I had call out for the sales lady, explain what happened, and ask her to bring me a few newborn outfits. I don't remember reading about this stuff in any of my "preparing for baby" books. I stayed with him in that fitting room for what seemed to be hours. It wasn't. We were only 20 minutes into our stay-at-the-mall day. Things went downhill from there. The mall was not that big. It felt like we covered every inch of it and that the sales ladies were talking about us. "Oh look, Agnes. Here comes that lady AGAIN with her smelly stroller!"

Finally, I was overcome. The tears started and I couldn't stop. I pushed that stroller into Gryder's shoe store and sat. A woman came over. She smiled at me - mess that I was - and said the sweetest words. "What a beautiful baby!" I cried even more. The ugly cry. The cry that needed Kleenex, but I didn't have any. She asked how old David was. I tried my best to act normal, but I was a wreck. "When you had your first child, was it this hard?" I sobbed. She spoke in such a calm voice and encouraged me.
She patiently talked with me for quite a while. She asked about Bill, and how we met, and why we were in Mississippi, etc. She shared scripture with me and lovingly reminded that every moment I should "cast my cares on Jesus". I bent over to get something out of the diaper bag, and she was gone.   I looked all around for her. I even asked the salesman if he had seen her. She had just disappeared.

She was gone, but what remained were her words. They strengthened me. And not only on that day. When times get rough, I almost always hear her voice reminding me to "Cast my cares on Jesus". Was she an angel? I have no idea. I like to think she was. Regardless of who or what she was, I have no doubt that God sent her to me when I felt so overwhelmed, just like He sent an angel to Jesus during His darkest time. What a loving heavenly Father! And that is my angel story.

1 comment:

HJK said...

your stories are like a breath of fresh air. keep it up your doing just fine