Sometimes as we move through life we can lose sight of how God is moving around us every moment of the day. What a blessing it is when God wakes us up to His work and it is almost as if you can hear Him saying, “Pay attention! What’s happening here is important and a gift from Me!” I had one such experience recently at the Mission.
I was taking my turn at the front desk answering the many important phone calls that reach Haven of Rest each day. My morning had been busy and my to-do list was through the roof. My mind was in about 30 places at once as I answered phone calls, fret about a due date coming up on a grant proposal, thought about what was for lunch, and tried to decode the messy writing on a note that had been left in my mailbox. We have all been there, multi-tasking even though we know we shouldn’t. Finally all the lines on the phone were red (that’s a good thing because that means everyone on the lines was being taken care of) and I sat back for a second to take a breath.
Just then the door opened and a woman carrying two blankets walked through the lobby to the desk. She asked timidly if she was in the right place to donate the two blankets she was carrying. I assured her that she could leave them with me and that I would make sure they made their way over to the donation center. She handed me the blankets and I marveled at them for a moment. I could tell that they were both crocheted by hand and they were a very nice, large size. All the multi-colored granny squares were crocheted neatly together with black yarn; they must have taken days and days to finish.
I told her that they were beautifully done and asked her if she made them herself. She explained to me that she had made one and her daughter had made the other. I told her I understood how long this type of project took (I, personally, have been working on an afghan for about a year) and that I appreciated all the time and effort her and her daughter had put in. She thanked me and said that they would be working on more blankets to bring in very soon. As it turns out, her mother had passed away recently and they had inherited all her yarn. She shared that her mother had been making blankets like the ones I was holding in my hands for many years. In fact, during the year before her mother died, all three generations of ladies had crocheted together to make squares for the blankets.
I again expressed my gratitude and appreciation for all of their hard work. She then thanked me for the work that Haven of Rest does for people in our community. After the briefest of hesitations she shared with me that her uncle, the brother of her mother who had just passed, came to the Mission many years ago for help and turned his life around for the better. She explained that was the reason why her mother had started making the blankets in the first place and why she and her daughter would continue to make them with her yarn even though she is gone now.
Suddenly the blankets felt heavier in my hands, weighed down by the history and gratitude she was sharing with me. After thanking her again for sharing with me and making the blankets, she declined a gift receipt and went back out to the truck I saw waiting for her just outside the door.
I was stunned and amazed by what God had just blessed me with. All at once the stresses of my day seemed to melt away as I looked once more at the blankets and placed them behind the counter. The phone rang again and called me back to reality. I directed the call over to the Men’s Day Room and then said a short prayer of thanks for the reality check I had just been given. I realized that, once again, I had gotten caught up in what I was doing and lost sight of how God was moving around me. This was also a great reminder to me that each man, woman and child that walks through the door has a story, whether they are here to work, volunteer, receive services, or make donations. God has called them to the Mission “for such a time as this” as it says in Esther 4:14.
Join me in a prayer of thanksgiving today for God’s perfect timing and for blessing Haven of Rest with the resources to serve men, women and children in need.