A few years ago I used to clean homes for extra money. The homes of older women were the best to clean, as by and large, I found older women to be more appreciative of just about any help at all.
Helen was one such lady. I had first met her when I cleaned along with a friend; we laughingly referred to ourselves as “partners in grime”. That first day at Helen’s, we were giggling and I think Helen may have been a bit suspicious of us– she may have been old, but she was nobody’s fool. She was a tall woman and had severe pain in her back and could only walk very slowly. My friend and I vacuumed, cleaned her kitchen, dusted, and waxed her kitchen cabinets (she was so proud of her cabinets). It wasn’t long and I was flying solo as a house cleaner, and Helen called me to clean again.
The deal with housecleaning is that you can set your own schedule, and the pay is quite good. Obviously, Helen had plenty of downtime on her hands, and I was smart enough to know that if I took some time to sit and visit with her after I finished tidying up, it would be to both of our advantages. So that day, I sat at Helen’s table while she wrote out a check and began visiting. She had the time, and I did too. She wanted to know about me (turns out, she was a good friend to my husband’s grandmother years ago), and I answered her questions and asked about her. Old folks have lots of good stories you know, and plenty of common sense and most likely, a smidge or two of wisdom.
Helen and I came to know each other real well, and she came to trust and like me, and I came to appreciate and treasure all that she was. She had a fire in her, and a bit of mischievousness, and a healthy dose of “Maxine“, that cranky old cartoon woman–I got a kick out of that attribute the most. Yes, Helen and I “bonded”.
One day she happened to mention she wanted to sell her car, but couldn’t find the title. I suggested that we pray and ask the Lord to show her where it was. She was kind of taken aback and asked did I really think the Lord cared about something so small and insignificant? I stated that He did, and so, we bowed our heads, and I prayed. A couple of days later, I received a call from Helen. She was elated to tell me that she had found the title to her car, and then, she suggested that maybe I had “special connections” to our heavenly Father. It was a neat experience, and I’m sure it increased her faith. (MIne too!)
In Luke 12, vs 6 & 7, we read: “Are not five sparrows sold for two cents? Yet not one of them is forgotten before God. Indeed, the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Do not fear; you are more valuable than many sparrows.” And, Psalm 139:2, “You know when I sit down and rise up; you understand my thought from afar.” And, 1Peter 5:7, “…casting all your anxiety on him because He cares for you.” And let’s not forget the birds of the air who neither sow nor reap… are we not worth much more than they? (Matthew 6:26).
Do I run to God with the “little” things that are on my heart? Or just the “big” things”? I know if my husband lost his job, there I would be, flat on the floor begging God to send another job, money, food, a winning lottery ticket… (just kidding, I don’t waste my money on lottery tickets). But do I go to Him for the “small, insignificant” issues I am dealing with? I thought about that for just a few seconds and the answer is “yes”. The examples I could give you might seem silly, but here are a few: I ask for help from God for blog topics, verses for the topic, what to make for dinner, how to create something attractive with what I have on hand, how to sew an item that I can’t figure out what the next step is, to help me not to be nervous if I have to talk to someone about a difficult topic, to help me choose the right words to say to that person, to show me the perfect gift for a person, to give me ideas on how to decorate a room and spend nothing… you know, little things. Maybe this comes easy to me because I like to talk to myself, (I always win arguments!) so talking to God is just an easy extension of that… but think about it; God cares more about me than he cares about sparrows, He knows how many hairs I have on my head, He knows my heart, He knows my thoughts, longings, dreams, sorrows, hurts… He knows it all. He’s closer to me than anyone, so why wouldn’t I share all of my concerns? The wool couldn’t be pulled over Helen’s eyes, and it can’t be pulled over God’s eyes either.
Time for honesty, time for barring one’s soul, time for letting God take control… He can handle it, He has the power. He has set the stars and the moon and the sun in the sky. I don’t have any more of a special connection to God than Helen or any other believer has; we just need to choose to put our trust in the God of this universe who loves us with an everlasting love, and delights in answering those seemingly “little” prayers.
My dear friend Helen passed on a little over a year ago at the age of 92. At her memorial a few days after Christmas, her granddaughters told me that Helen had truly loved me. I could hardly believe it–I could hardly believe that I had made such an impact on her life, but I’m so thankful I did. Just a gentle reminder here, reach out to those who God puts in your path and on your heart… let them see the light and love of Christ through you, share what you know about our loving Creator, you never know if what you say might increase their faith. Helen is on the list of those I will see when I reach the “Promised Land”.