Sunday, September 30, 2012

A Brief Moment… A brief Opportunity

Opportunities abound to prepare the soil, sow, water, and reap God’s increase. Whether I am in Vietnam, Thailand, Congo, Morocco, England or Chile, it’s about people.

When I was a young believer I felt ministry was something I did. Sometimes it was a place I had to go to in order to do something, sometimes it was a position or job I had to occupy in order to be considered doing real ministry. But as I as I have grown and progressed in life and maturity I have found that what flows out of what I was becoming ministers to people. I don’t have to try to do something or even have to be hired to a role or appointed to a position… I was and am still becoming the image of God on earth to people I meet. Who I am is ministry whether I am far away in another place of the world or right back in Charlotte North Carolina.

This became more real to me recently while I was home between trips. I was working at my daughter’s house installing a ceramic tile floor and had to run to Lowe’s to grab something.

I was near the store when I noticed an elderly woman in a car on the other side of the road with her flashers on. I drove through a parking lot to turn around so I could pull up on her side of the road. Putting on my parking brake I got out of my truck and walked to the car in order to ask if I could help.

As I approached the car my investigative instincts kicked in. A quick look told me something was really wrong. I noticed that the elderly driver was on the cell phone in the driver’s seat and another elderly woman laying in the back seat with an oxygen mask on. When the driver saw me she put the cell phone down and I ask her if she needed help and if the woman laying in the back seat was okay.

The driver (Edie) told me that the lady in the back seat (Carolyn) was her older sister who was in the final stages of cancer and she couldn't take the pain any more. Carolyn begged Edie to take her to the hospital. They got half way and Carolyn couldn’t stand the pain anymore so they pulled over and started calling 911 hoping to get transport the rest of the way to the hospital. They had been sitting there for ten minutes and nobody had stopped and no ambulance had arrived.

Edie was tired and you could see the fear on her face. It was already ten minutes and nobody had come yet. So we called and gave better directions where the car was. As we waited together I was able to pray for them both and stay with them until the ambulance arrived.

This was all so very sad. My heart broke. This was so hard. I was so very glad that God placed me there. As the paramedics transferred Carolyn from the car to the ambulance Carolyn never once complained and even apologized to the paramedics for making them work too hard - she was more concerned for them than herself. She demonstrated grace in a time when she obviously was experiencing pain. 

Just that brief interaction allowed me to sense that God seems to put people together that need each other. This brief interaction helped me to choose to be less selfish and more other centric. I again realized that the opportunities abound all around us all to participate in the harvest.

I am learning that each day is an adventure with God. Because He doesn’t want anyone to be separated from Himself and because He is not physically on this earth, I can wake up every day expecting God to use me. In fact I should live expectantly, in anticipation that He will create a scenario that requires my participation for His glory.

On Tuesday September 4, 2012 I received a note from the family that Carolyn passed. I brief meeting, a brief chance to impact eternity. Live expectantly!

This is your investment. This is your joy.

Mark Szymanski

Won’t you please consider joining our financial support team? You can send contributions to: United World Mission, PO Box 602002, Charlotte NC 28260-2002 and write ACCT# 11013 in the memo line. Further info about on-line giving and other programs see Thank you to our present supports that allow us to impact the many lives across the planet. Again, THANKS!

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