A few weeks ago, I had one of the best days I've had in a long time. It was one of those days that I could feel the Lord's working and shaping in my life. His presence was ever near and it was a sweet day of fellowship with the One that truly matters.
I am always thinking and scheming about how I can do something big for the Lord; something that would make a huge difference in the life of someone else. I have a list of things that I think are worthy of my thoughts and efforts and yet, that list seems so unattainable. It frustrates me to no end that I have all these burdens on my heart and I seem to be unable to do anything.
We all want to do something big right? What about the little things? Or the daily events that we seem to just look at as unimportant?
This day was like any other. Nothing special planned and no outings to go and do. The day went along without a hitch and when the afternoon rolled around I knew I needed to start making dinner. Quite often I will make a meal that I know will feed our whole family and there wont be much, if any, leftovers. I was set one of these dinners, but for some reason I felt compelled to make something I haven't made in a while. In fact, I got downright excited to make it. Zuppa Toscana with corn bread...one of my favorites!
Dinner time was quickly approaching and I did a quick look in the mirror to make sure I was not totally disheveled and was thankful to the Lord that I actually was on time with the meals preparations. Soup was ready, cornbread just came out of the oven, and the table was set. As I was on my knees in the pantry putting the granulated honey in the pot to melt it a bit, my hubby walked through the garage door into the house. No sooner did I peer over my shoulder to say hello than do I see a gentleman following my hubby through the door. I quickly got up and Seth introduced me to Casey. It is not abnormal for my husband to have a person to introduce to me due to him always hiring new employees for his construction company. I assumed he was new to the business and thought no more. I walked into the kitchen and Seth was showing Casey around and the kids were chatting away with our guest.
We asked Casey to stay and have dinner with us and he kindly accepted. And was I ever so thankful that I made soup instead of a meager dinner!!! While the honey was melting, Seth quickly took Casey outside and showed him around the farm. I got a little curious as to why Seth was talking so casually with Casey rather than filling him in on business talk, but one look out the dining room window and everything made sense.
Let me give you a background on my man.
I had heard a few stories when we first began dating and experienced it in our early marriage. My generous hubby has been known from time to time to pick up hitch hikers and give them a ride or take them to dinner. While I love this about him, it also scares me. I'm sure I don't need to explain why. When we had our first child I asked him to not do it anymore because I didn't want him to get hurt (I won't get into details, but lets just say I know of an incident with a kid I used to go to school with and it makes me incredibly leery of this kind of thing). Anyway, I have become convicted recently about how much we are doing to help the poor and the needy and for reasons only God knows, Seth and I talked a few months ago and we decided if he felt let to pick up a hitch hiker, he should.
So when I looked out the dining room window, I saw a back pack in the back of the truck...
I smiled to myself and actually laughed. I was so thankful to the Lord for the change of heart that I could rejoice in seeing the Lord work things out. I had made enough dinner to feed twice as many people as we had at the table and my husband brought a wandering soul into our home so we could talk, feed, and encourage him. My children got to see their parents welcome a stranger into our home and they didn't think anything of it. They in fact, loved having Casey there and he was great. Conversation seemed to flow seamlessly and we rather enjoyed hearing about his life and interests.
We can be so quick to judge and act out of fear. And this evening was the exact opposite. Casey was a true gentleman and was actually on his way home from visiting friends. He decided to hitch hike from Oregon to Georgia so he could meet new people and have an adventure. He works a couple seasonal jobs and was on a break. We talked at the table for quite a while and Seth asked if he was ready to go. Lets just say that it was so hard to not tell Casey he could sleep on our couch, when I knew he was wanting to continue on his journey. I felt very inhospitable, but this was how he wanted it. His only request was to try our raw milk because he never tasted it before. And of course, he loved it.
While Seth was dropping Casey off by the interstate (I know, I know), I was pondering over the Lord's providence and how He so perfectly orchestrates events in our lives. Once I got the kids to bed, I went outside to do the chores. I am a creature of habit and always do them the same way, but for whatever reason I decided to do things a bit different. I fed the cat, went to feed Franco, and then headed for the coop. With the layout of our fence and such I have to go through a gate to get to the coop and it's a good thing I went this route. Nestled in the corner of the gate was one of my Welsummer hens. I would have NEVER found her here because this is not the usual spot for a missing chicken to be, let alone the usual chicken. A Rhode Island hen is usually found roosting on the top of the run, so I would have never thought to look here. I picked her up and immediately thought, "Lord, you care about the little things too. Not just what I consider to be big, but you care for the little things too. Feeding and welcoming strangers into our home (big), but also a lone hen that might be harmed if left by herself in the night (little)."
I tucked the missing hen under my arm and just thanked the Lord for His providence and care for His people and His creation. People are of infinite more value than animals, but that doesn't mean He doesn't care for them.
"Are not two sparrows sold for a farthing? and one of them shall not fall on the ground without your Father. But the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear ye not therefore, ye are of more value than many sparrows."
I walked into the coop, turned the light on, counted chickens, closed the run door, and then set the hen on the roost with the rest of the girls. No sooner did I set her down than did I realize she had a patch of feathers missing from her back. She was fine, no blood, but she probably got too close to Franco and got a few feather plucked out. I thanked the Lord (again) for letting me find her and see that she has some feathers missing. I now knew to watch out for her just to make sure she's ok.
I went to bed just in awe of how the hand of God plans the steps of His children and changes our hearts to want to do His will. I will probably not forget this day as it had a profound impact in my life.
A few days before we left for our trip to Wyoming I found a letter in the mail that was addressed to Seth. It was from Georgia and I was so confused as to who it could be. I didn't know Casey's last name and I for some reason thought home for him was Texas.
I called Seth and asked if I could open it and once given the ok, I ripped the envelope faster than you could blink. I about started to cry once I realized who it was from and thanked the Lord that we were able to show the love of Christ to one who we may never meet again.
Not sure if you can read the letter, but here is the second half of it:
"The whole trip, Atlanta- Colorado- Oregon- Texas was amazing, but one of the best highlights and probably the most memorable moments was getting the chance to meet you and your family. I can't thank you enough for your hospitality, kindness, and gifts. When people ask about this trip, yours is the first stay I tell. Please extend my greetings and thanks to Noel, Jude, Ella, and Leah. May you all continue to be safe and prosperous.
-Casey Tucker "
Reading this means more to me (and us) than any amount of money or wealth. We are thankful for the chance to have met Casey Tucker and we pray that the Lord will work in his life.
If I have one thing to say it's this, don't let an opportunity to do another person good pass you by because your are afraid or because it might make you uncomfortable. God is the only one we need to please and He always, always cares for His children. May we always live to please him and never forget the poor, the needy, or just the traveler passing by.