It was fall of 2008 and I had just finished shopping at Sam's Club and had begun to put my items in the trunk of my car. I noticed what I thought was a man and wife across the parking lot at their car as I was unloading items. I didn't really pay attention to them. The next thing I knew was that as I was getting ready to open my car door the woman approached me. She may have been slightly younger than me, dressed in pants and sweater...nicely groomed. She started talking to me and telling me she had had marriage problems...and that was as far as she got before I stopped her.
I wish I could continue on and tell you that I listened to the rest of what she had to say, especially since my husband and I have such a strong passion for marriages, but that is not what happened. I remember thinking that she didn't look like the "typical" (?) person who panhandled (if she even was a panhandler). I'll never know because I didn't give her a chance to tell me what she wanted.
I then realized that she must not have been with the man across the parking lot, but that she must have approached him the same way. So, I immediately stopped her and told her "Sorry, I can't help you." I opened my car door and she was gone. When I got in my car I turned the key and the radio came on and it was playing the Christian station that I listen to. BAM! Conviction, BIG time!
I envisioned the day I was seated before the first judge in my disability case January of 2007. I believe God put that image in my mind so that I would make the connection between my behavior and the judge's behavior. If you know me, you know that I don't "look sick." I believe that was part of the bias the judge had toward me. The woman did not "look" the part, so my prejudice shined through, big time.
Well, the Holy Spirit had convicted me to the point that I felt I had to find her, but to no avail. I drove that parking lot up and down and I could not find her anywhere. It was as if she had vanished into thin air!
Then it hit me, maybe she was an angel. I know it may sound a bit strange and I guess it doesn't matter if she was one or not, because God got my attention regardless, but she seemed to have appeared and disappeared so suddenly.
I never did find her (regrettably), but it had affected me. It made me realize that I have such a long way to go toward showing compassion to others. When I write in regard to showing compassion, I am talking to myself as much as to anyone else. I believe God used what took place to reveal Himself as very much involved in my life and in complete control of the battle I was facing in regard to my disability case.
Skip to the next time I was at the Sam's Club, which was a week or two after the "angel" had approached me, I was heading out of the store when I got a call from my lawyer. He told me that the first judges' decision had been overturned based on the conclusion that he independently made his decision to deny my benefits by disregarding the evidence before him. BAM! Redemption, BIG time!
My attorney also told me that I may not have to face another judge before my case would be settled, most likely in my favor. Coincidence? I don't think so. This phone call, coincidentally at the same location, proved in my mind that God was in control of my circumstances that day in the parking lot. He knew what it would take for me to repent and realize that my husband and I had been so graciously taken care of by Him, disability benefits or not, and I had no right to judge the "angel" in the parking lot the way that I did.
He brought me to my knees, which is where I need to stay! The thought that I behaved like the first judge hit me personally because I knew the condemnation I experienced when I faced that first judge and I had made her feel that same way. It breaks my heart to this day.
These incidents took place in September of 2008. As it turned out, in January of 2009 I did face another judge. This time I was granted my full benefits in March of 2009 which was just four months after God revealed to me once again His graciousness and His willingness to continue to battle on my behalf, independent of my sinful nature.
Only one Righteous Judge turned my way, the God of the Universe and He declared me (all believers) not guilty. Not because of my ability to pay my sin debt, but ONLY because of the price Jesus paid on my behalf...AMAZING.
Luke 7:36-48 NKJV are some of my favorite verses in the bible. There were two debtors, one Creditor. The two debtors had nothing in which to repay the Creditor. The Creditor forgave them both freely. The question is asked...Which one will love Him (the Creditor) more? The answer: The one to whom the Creditor forgave more. Verse 43 NKJV.
Jesus concludes by saying "Therefore, I say to you, her sins, which were many, are forgiven, for she loved much. But to whom little is forgiven, the same loves little." Luke 7:47 NKJV. I refer to this verse as the 747 Jumbo Jet verse because it is so powerful! Because it cuts right to the heart condition of sinful man (a hard heart) and addresses Jesus' solution...heart surgery. The scalpel? Forgiveness.
The realization that we, as sinful man need it and then the realization that only He can provide it. Once received, love is conceived, along with our desire to seek to see others through His eyes! The surgery is complete and the healing begins.Collateral healing.
The song, titled Give Me Your Eyes by Brandon Heath is my prayer and my song for us all today...