First Posted 13-Jul-2014
The story below is a turning point in my life. I tell it a lot. This version is what I sent to my aunt recently: A few years ago, when I was calling an emergency shelter program home, I was parked near a place that let folk sell blood plasma. I was down to a few dollars in my wallet. My pre-paid phone was almost out of minutes. My truck was down to fumes. I was parked on a meter and out of coins. I prayed, and heard back, “Will you quit whining! Just, please, if what you intend to say is more complaints, shut up! You say you love me, that you are a follower of the Way, that you trust me and even with all that, your prayer life is dominated by moaning and complaining. Stop it. From now, each time an urge to complain arises, I only want three words from you, ‘I trust you.” I was pissed. What is this from a God that says he loves me? How dare he upbraid me like that? If he really cared he’d bless me with a windfall of money to get me out of this mess. Well . . . after I settled down and tried praying as asked, my cell phone rang. On the other end was a recovering crack addict I knew who needed a ride while she did some errands. She offered gas money. Not much, but enough that I could buy gas and maybe a sandwich from the refrigerator case at the gas station. For the next year, she and I helped each other. She, by offering gas money as she was able, and I, by driving her on errands. It became clear after a while, that what I was called to do was serve without hope of return. I knew that, kind of, but was so awash in my self-indulgent tears, that I had a tough time listening. Since then I’ve managed to stay housed, keep a car, stay fed (mostly) and though I don’t have what I might wish, I have enough.