Tuesday, October 9, 2007

A Moment in Time

Margaret Fishback Powers years ago wrote a now famous poem called “Footprints” in which a man views his life journey and recognizes that at times there were only one set of footprints instead of two. The Lord explains to him that during the most difficult times of his life, He carried Him.

I think that if we could see another view of our life through the eyes of God, we would see that there were markers of another kind. Markers that stood as monuments commemorating moments in our life that changed someone’s world.
Often these moments blended into the normal flow of our day and we did not see their significance.

Once in a while God does draw back the curtain and allows us to see from His perspective…. how encouraging those glimpses can be in helping us to recognize the power we have in the smallest measure of a day to change someone's world.

Let me share two experiences from my life that I hold close to remind me to never under estimate a moment.

Years ago I worked with a young lady who I became quite friendly with and consequently also got to know her extended family.
Her sister-in-law came into the store quite often with her two children, Jarrett and Carla. At the time there were about 7 and 4. Carla was younger and she was a princess china doll with huge eyes framed by long lashes. She had long, thick, beautiful naturally curly hair. She was the kind of rare child that made everyone stop and fuss over her.
Jarrett as the older brother was a nice looking boy in an ordinary way. He stood in the shadow of his little sister who got all of the attention. I saw this happening and my heart went out to the little boy who was virtually ignored. I made a point of paying attention to him whenever I met them.
My friend one day in conversation mentioned that he liked little things that fit into other things and an idea formed in my mind.

I went shopping and bought a miniature stuffed animal and sewed a little drawstring pouch for it to live in. I had it ready the next time Jarrett and Carla came into the store with their mother. I immediately singled Jarrett out and made a point of barely acknowledging Carla. I told Jarrett I had something for him and I gave him my little gift. He smiled and said thank-you.
It was a moment thing and I very quickly forgot about it.
Years later, I happened to meet Jarrett’s mother and I asked about her children. She told me Jarrett was graduating from high school that year. I could not believe how time had flown. Last time I saw him he had been a little boy, now he was about to take his place as a man,
His mother then brought up the time I had singled Jarrett out by giving him that little stuffed toy. She told me how much she had appreciated it and how much it had meant to Jarrett. Then she said something that blew me away.
“Jarrett has never parted with that little gift. He still has it!”

A moment, quickly forgotten, for me….but a life changing moment for him. A moment that had the power to convey to him the message that he had worth, that he had value and there was someone who cared enough to tell him.

There is another moment I remember.

It was my son-in-law’s university graduation night, eleven years ago.
I sat in the crowded auditorium behind an East Indian woman who was holding her little grand daughter who was probably about five or six months old.
At one point the grand mother turned the child to look backward over her shoulder. The child’s eyes met mine…she looked at me for a second and then reaching out her arms lunged toward me almost causing the grand mother to drop her. I would have gladly taken her in my arms but the look the grand mother gave me left no doubt in my mind that that was not going to happen.
She tried to distract the child, but the child would not be distracted. She kept holding her little arms out to me begging me to take her. Finally the grand mother picked up her things and moved.
My heart was captured by the sweet little girl.
I prayed for her that night, prayed that she would reach out for God in the same way she had reached out to me. I prayed that God would protect her and bring a Christian influence into her life and that He would find a way to bring her to Himself.
Many times over the 11 years since, I have remembered those little arms reaching out to me and I have been reminded to pray for her.

I will never know what effect my prayers have had on her life. She will never remember the lady who sat behind her that night and the moment that connected us together.
How excited I would be if in eternity she came running to throw herself into my arms!!!

I believe that God plants special ‘moments’ in our life – most of the time we are entirely unaware of their eternal worth - never guessing how our little actions could be magnified into great purposes.
But God knows and He watches over those moments and waters them and causes them to bring forth the desired results. Then one day when we stand before Him in eternity…He will show us what our ‘moments’ accomplished. We will stand amazed, and I’m sure wish that we had paid more attention to our earthly moments, recognizing that it is not the big things God can use best . but the little things.

“I, the Lord, keep it. I water it every moment, lest any hurt it. I keep it night and day……”
(Is. 27:3)

4 comments:

Vicki said...

I read this post of yours, Julie, just after reading this one that I believe you'll enjoy. (I hope that link works...let me know if it doesn't!) I think small children are capable of recognizing the love of God in us. I also think God gives us these precious moments to remind us that we are His children, and that reaching out to Him is all He asks in return for His marvelous Grace.

James Janzen said...

I just read an email sent to me about how a man came before God in the woods distraught because he couldn't forgive. The tree he crouched against became the cross. Your blog blended right in with that. Our worth in God is far reaching of anything we can begrudge anyone here on earth. Keep up the good work.

Lovella said...

Oh those moments in time that we remember . .. others must remember too.

What a wonderful challenge for this day.

Sara said...

Hi Julie, your illustrations are beautiful and meaningful and it's good to be reminded that everything we do matters, even the tiniest, most fleeting kindness, even a smile.

Thank you for your last message to me and the verse!