The sign wasn’t suppose to be there. I had other plans for the nail that holds it now. But each time I look at it, I remember the story and the goodness of God and smile.
We were at Bible Study around Christmas time several years ago. I had posed a question about our true motives behind the gifts we desire. After we took turns and shared, we came to the conclusion that it’s rarely the thing we want, but that the wishes for material possessions often hide our true heart’s cry.
One woman shared how she had always wanted metal measuring cups. However, Christmas after Christmas and birthday after birthday passed without receiving the simple gift. She shared with the group that it really wasn’t about the cups but about her deep desire to be heard.
After our study I ran a few errands. I had made plans to buy a clock for my kitchen.
Strolling through the household isle at the store, I came across the perfect clock. I had just enough cash. I grabbed it and headed toward the checkout. Suddenly I remembered my friend and the metal measuring cups.
I found them. I really wanted to bless her but realized quickly that I only had enough money for either the clock or the measuring cups. I decided against the clock, put it back in its place and picked up the cups instead, even though I had already pounded a nail in my kitchen wall for it.
Still in the parking lot of the store, I texted my friend to see if she was home. She was. She greeted me at her front door and opened her present; She was overwhelmed and said, “Crazy, I am making banana bread at this very moment!” We hugged and I headed home.
Back in my car, happy about my decision, my cell phone rang. It was another friend from Bible study. She told me that she had something for me. She didn’t say anything else except that she had made it herself. It “just so happened” that I was in the area and told her I would stop by for a quick visit.
When I walked into her home, she was excited and showed me the craft she had made for me: A pickle-board sign, matching the color of my kitchen walls. I couldn’t believe it. I told her I already had a nail in the wall where it needed to be hung. She had no idea what had just happened.
The words on the sign penetrated deeply that day and still strike me today. They are a great reminder of God’s kindness to me … and … that the time really doesn’t matter when you plan on doing something kind.
“Thus says the Lord of hosts, Render true judgments,
show kindness and mercy to one another”
(Pictures and devotional, Heidi Viars, 2020)