– Secret Place Insights –
Dear One, last year our church hosted an event for women. It was a community wide, actually world-wide, via simulcasts, IF event. I think IF stands for “If God is real, and He is, how will you live out your life?” Three of my friends and I agreed to attend and share one of the many white-covered, circular tables. Before the day-and-a-half gathering began a woman, a widow, and stranger from a local church joined our table (I will call her Nancy).
During a break between presentations, Nancy and I found ourselves alone at the table. She had earlier spoken about the difficulties of being a widow. We learned that as a widow she received few invitations for dinner, card playing, sporting events or travel. She went on to mention how she was doing her best to stay involved. At her church she volunteered five days a week, FIVE!
When the others had left the table, I took the opportunity to tell Nancy how I admired her for pushing through, and staying involved wherever she could. At that point, she spoke of the loneliness of widowhood. She said that her life with God was good, but that it wasn’t enough. “Yes,” she could sense His love and presence, but she wanted something more. She laughed and said that she had finally told God that she needed someone with skin on.
One Sunday morning, on her way to church, she asked God to send her someone who would tell her he loved her and that she was beautiful. At that point, she proceeded to tell me the most delightful answer to her prayer.
That morning her pastor greeted her by asking if he could pray with her. When his prayer ended, he hugged her and told her that he loved her, and that the church family loved her too. Nancy silently thanked the Lord for such sweet encouragement. A few moments later, during fellowship greeting, a friend sitting in front of her turned around and told her that she looked beautiful. Immediately, Nancy thanked God for such a swift and direct answer to her prayers, prayers offered just an hour earlier.
Before the event ended, I asked Nancy if I could share with you, the reader, what she had shared with me. She kindly consented. At that moment, neither of us could have known that God had something else to add to God’s watching-over-Nancy-story. I happily add this with the hope that it will be an encouragement to every faithful, but lonely widow.
When the event was over, I was disappointed that my friends and I had had very little free time to catch up with one another. The next day, while having quiet-time, I decided that I would invite my friends to lunch at a quiet restaurant where we could talk uninterrupted. To my surprise, my thoughts were interrupted with the following words. “Invite Nancy.” I thought, but Lord, we hardly know her. She will be bored. “If you do not invite Nancy, cancel.”
I sat amazed, amazed at how the Lord was looking after Nancy. I wondered, was He so attentive to her because she was not just sitting around waiting for good things to happen?
In our later communications for the preparations of this essay, Nancy shared this. “I love that God attends me so personally. I hope your readers will understand how closely He listens for us to share our hopes and dreams with Him. He doesn’t always answer the way we expect, but He answers and gives us what we need.”
Sadly, the luncheon never took place – traveling schedules made it impossible. So, it was put off until some later date – which never came.
“A father of the fatherless, a defender of widows,
is God in His holy habitation.” Psalm 68:5
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