Psalm 139:13-16 (NIV): “For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well. My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place. When I was woven together in the depths of the earth, your eyes saw my unformed body. All the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be.”
All of us want to be recognized by our friends/neighbors whenever we attend a celebration or event in our communities. When we walk into a room, someone almost invariably recognizes you and calls you by name. You, in turn, do the very same thing. I know that I do the same thing whenever I recognize a good friend or an acquaintance at an event/function/celebration.
Unfortunately, this all changes whenever you move to an entirely new area–especially out of state–where you do not have any friends and possibly no family member(s). When my husband and I moved from PA to VA, we knew that it would take some time to find a church home and develop friendships. Since my daughter and her husband lived nearby with our grandson, we knew that we would have their love, support, and friendship and even be able to enjoy making memories with them. We indeed have enjoyed that so far.
We have also been enjoying visiting churches in our community and nearby but have yet to settle into one. My husband has, however, attended a men’s breakfast and enjoyed it so much that he intends to go to another one next weekend. He was told that you did not need to be a member of this particular church to attend the breakfasts/Bible study. He made an appointment and decided to meet with the pastor this past week to get more acquainted, and it looks like we will be attending this church again tomorrow. We are looking for opportunities to minister, and the pastor indicated we could get involved in a number of ways. We are praying for God’s leading.
While my husband attended a funeral service in PA on Thursday and Friday (and I was not babysitting on Friday) I decided to take a day to run errands, and the bank was my first stop. As I waited to cash a check, I made conversation with one of the local residents and then went to the cashier with my check. Since my husband and I had cashed a check at the bank earlier in the week, I just assumed she would check my account and then cash my check. Instead, she immediately asked for ID. I smiled and said, “I was in earlier this week and they did not ask for ID.” She looked at me and said, “I don’t know your face!” I was taken aback a little bit by her statement since it is the only bank around the corner from my house, but I did not make any further comment. I noticed, however, that she looked up my account number and proceeded to cash my check. I thanked her and left.
As soon as I was in my car, I thought about how “God knows our name, face, and our entire being” and “how we are fearfully and wonderfully made.” When I thought about it some more, I realized I didn’t have a problem with her asking for ID; what bothered me, however, was what/how she said…I don’t know your face! She could have said, “I don’t recognize you” in a more polite manner but she didn’t. The experience of cashing a check earlier in the week and the one from yesterday was definitely a difference in “attitude.” Even the woman standing behind me looked surprised by the cashier’s tone.
However, when I examined my own heart, I thought of and wondered about how many times I may have “come across” as having the wrong attitude towards someone as well (i.e.husband, family member, friends) and remembered the passage in Psalm 139:23-24: “Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.” (NIV) I asked God to forgive me for a wrong attitude as well.
The rest of my day went exceedingly well, and there were a number of “wonderful” people to talk with at the places that I shopped. I thanked the cashier at Kohl’s for allowing me to buy a bottle of water as soon as I arrived at the store. I was having an acid reflux attack and needed water. I wasn’t sure if I could walk around with and drink the water in the store, but she assured me that I was allowed to do so. I gave a woman an idea for transferring her grand daughter’s colored pictures on a quilt at Michael’s after talking with her about the wonderful selection of adult coloring books that are now available. She truly thanked me for the idea and would definitely do something with the pictures in the near future. At B&N, I noticed a woman looking at the coloring books as well, and we also discussed all the latest ones available. The salesman at Pier I Imports was extremely helpful in locating a small item I was looking for (I even had a 20% coupon). By the time I got to Target, I was smiling from ear to ear and had forgotten about the bank experience. The cashier even sang and hummed as I checked out, and it made my heart sing! God had used other people to “cheer my heart and make it glad.”
St. Augustine said, “God loves each one of us as though there were only one of us to love.” I felt like that yesterday. God truly reached down and “hugged” me with an everlasting love and “recognized my face” and it “made me glad” and He will do the same for you.
Blessings on you,