I was in a hurry and lost. Angry with the awkward spring weather that demanded I wear a sweater for the chilly morning but after walking a few miles of the city in the noon day heat I was hot and a bit cranky.
That is when I saw her, a little girl with dirty clothes and grey-black hair. She was going door to door and banging on the windows of cars stopped at the stop light. Asking for money. Begging for money. I remember passing her family a few blocks back. Sitting on a blanket, a mother holding a baby.
I felt compassion for her, but I was in a hurry. I was hot and tired and had been walking in circles around the city desperately trying to find a train station or bus stop. I passed her by and kept walking to the corner.
But then I remembered the orange. The orange I had in my backpack for a snack later. I stopped suddenly causing my two teammates to give me curious sideways glances. I pulled the orange out of my bag and walked back to her.
I tapped on her shoulder and she turned around. I handed her the orange and I will never forget the way her face lit up. She ran back to her mother waving the orange in the air and my eyes instantly filled with tears.
One moment was all it took. One choice to stop and go back. One orange. A little girl’s day was made and I was in tears because in that moment, I heard the Father’s heart. This was not just a little Roma girl covered in dirt begging on the street. This was His daughter. And for that moment, two of His daughters from completely different worlds connected. And it changed me.
This is just one of the many moments I have experienced around the world serving as a missionary or leading missions teams. I have loved on orphans and widows and women who have left a life of prostitution. I have seen some of the most amazing places in the world and experienced poverty and devastation that is hard to explain. How did an ordinary girl from South Louisiana get to live such a life?
Listen and Obey. As women, we are blessed with a powerful compassion that is so connected to the Father’s heart. I know that each one of you has had one of those moments. When you are on your way somewhere, busy and not in the mood for interruption. But God stops you in your tracks and gives you a moment, a chance, an opportunity to get involved in something so much bigger than yourself.
God is always giving us these opportunities whether we realize it or not and the choice is ours what we do with these moments. We can keep walking or we can stop and explore what might happen. But stopping can be risky. It causes you to lose your comfort zone and the excuse of not knowing. Never again will you be able to casually walk by without a piece of your heart breaking. But in exchange, you get to step into the Father’s heart for those around you.
During the next few months, we are going to feature stories that will highlight women who have stepped into their “such a time as this moment.” They have listened and obeyed and they are involved in something much bigger than themselves. Take time these next few months to stop and listen. Figure out what moves your heart and then instead of walking away from the uncomfortable feeling, walk into that feeling. I promise as you research and get involved and sacrifice, you will find the Father’s heart there. His heart for widows and orphans and people who are forgotten and alone. And there my dear you will find His heart for you, His daughter. You will discover you were created for so much more than just going to class and writing papers. Or for working nine to five and paying bills.
You were created to see beauty everywhere and call it out. To stand up for injustice for those who cannot speak for themselves. To be His hands and feet in the world around you. Right where you are.
You do not have to get on a plane and fly across the world to make a difference, although there are many benefits to that adventure as well! But maybe God has you planted where you are to make a difference in your community.
Open your heart these next few months. Stop and look around and see what incredible journeys the Lord might be inviting you to go on with Him.
Join us in October as we launch the first installment of our new series featuring a variety of people, organizations, causes and stories to inspire you to give back and find the cause that sets your heart on fire.
Is there a particular organization, issue or cause in the world that you would like to see highlighted in our new Justice & Missions series?
Latest posts by Amanda Goodroe (see all)
- Fixing Roofs and Mending Hearts - April 12, 2017
- Justice & Missions: Save Our Sisters - October 13, 2016
- Justice & Missions - September 13, 2016
- Five Tips For Supporting a Friend on Her Mission Trip - July 14, 2016