Follow @EllenGrabe Grabe's Gatherings: God Moments

Sunday, July 14, 2013

God Moments

While pushing Lauryn through Hy-Vee attempting to catch the 2 day sale items in their final hours my cart was halted in an aisle jam.  An elderly man and a mother with two young children were crowding the aisle.  During my wait for one of them to move I witnessed an odd encounter. The man reached out his withered hand to the little girl and in it was a crisp two dollar bill.  She reluctantly accepted it into her stubby fingers as her eyes looked up at her mom for permission.  I heard the man tell the girl to tuck it away somewhere safe like her piggy bank. I assumed the man knew this family, however upon further observation I realized this man was a complete stranger. The mother of the little girl tried rejecting the gift but the man would not take back the bill. The mom smiled shyly and warmly thanked the man and told him her daughter would put it away in her piggy bank. The man smiled affectionately and nodded at the little girl before he moved on in search of uncracked eggs. I quickly moved around the cluttered aisle, grabbed my kids some lunchables, and made my way home.

I didn't think too much about the random act of kindness other than thinking that this nice old man must be lonely and really enjoy kids. It was sweet and the smile he put on that little girls face was priceless. It was a feel good moment.

Later that night after the kids were all asleep and Eric was with some friends in Des Moines I decided to sit down and watch a movie and have some "me time".  I searched through the Netflix documentary category.  A couple of the movies caught my attention and I settled with "Unconditional".  "Unconditional" is a movie inspired by a true story about a man who spends his days suffering from kidney disease while helping at-risk youth in his neighborhood.  A tragic event reunites him and his childhood friend, Sam, who has lost her will to live after her husband was killed in an act of violence.

Half way through the movie I had to hit pause and think about what I just saw.  During the movie Sam has a flashback to a time she was receiving an award for giving away some of her published children's books. During a speech she spoke on how her husband had believed there was enough love in the world to go around but people don't spread the love around enough. He compared it to a two dollar bill.  There are millions of them made but you never see them because people tuck them away and hide them instead of using them and spreading them around.  Sam's husband had decided to randomly hand out two dollar bills to strangers as an act of love.  The two dollar bill became his symbol of love.

At that moment I hit pause and just sat there in the silence of my house.  Did I really just witness this act of love in Hy-Vee today?  How did I choose this movie out of all the movies I was looking at?  I had chills running up and down my spine and goosebumps on my arms.  It was one of those moments where you feel God's presence in your life.  I sat there trying to figure out what God was trying to tell me.  Do I need to act more lovingly towards others? Should I find a way to give more to others in need? Does God want me to look deeper into recognizing the acts of love that are being given to me?  I continued to contemplate this God moment the rest of the night and into the next day.

Uncertainty of why I was lead to view the movie just hours after observing the man in the store still exists. As I tried to wrapped my mind around this coincidence I thought about some of the symbols of love I have received that I have tucked away.  I even went in search of some.  In my high school senior year journal I found a note from my dad apologizing for yelling at me.  In that same journal I had a card and a dollar bill from an aunt who randomly sent me mail one day.  In a tin container I found all of the little cards that came on bouquets of flowers Eric sent me when we were dating.  Finally, in a filing cabinet I found a funny note that I wrote an old friend who died just a few years after receiving that note.  As I read it I remembered him smiling and shaking his head as he walked up to me and gave it back to me.  In the same file there were birthday cards from my grandma and letters that my best friend wrote me while she was away at summer camp.

All of these items are symbols of love.  It made me think about things that I have done or given to others and about what I could do or give to others to show love.  Just like Sam's husband in the movie, I want to live my life spreading love to those I know and don't know.  I may not be handing out two dollar bills but I am motivated to act in a Godly way and spread love to others.  It's such a simple act.  It took 2 minutes in a grocery store to fill a little girl up with a sense of love.  Surely it is a task I can handle.  I need to find my symbol of love and spread it.

I ask my readers to think about symbols of love you have seen, received, or given. The world is full of love but it is also full of hate and violence.  Maybe if more people start to share their symbol of love with others there will be less hate.  It's worth a try...

1 comment:

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