Answering God’s Call
I have to be honest. Sometimes when God calls, I kind of secretly wish that He would go into voice mail. I wasn’t feeling ready to serve on Saturday, June 1st. It seemed like the last few weekends I had served at church in some capacity and I was feeling kind of spiritually “burned out”. I thought about signing up for the Ashlee Manor project, as it would be something different than the food bank collection duty I am usually assigned. I also flirted with the idea of just taking the weekend off from serving altogether. Then God called. The shelves at the Shepherd of the Valley’s food bank were getting bare and He needed someone to collect donated food to remedy this problem. I saw the urgent request asking for volunteers, and just couldn’t say no. After all, food bank collection is my “thing”. I’m a people person and asking shoppers to buy a little something extra for the cause comes pretty easily to me. I asked a friend of mine to assist me and we took up our positions in front of both of the doors at the Simi Valley Albertsons on Cochran & Sycamore. I would be working the West door by myself, and my friend and her family would cover the East door. The ACTION sign was secured on the outside of the empty shopping cart so that it would be visible to those walking up to the store’s entrance to do their shopping. I was armed with flyers about ACTION and the shopping list of needed items. I was ready. The problem was that the shoppers weren’t. I saw so many hands go up in a rejective manner, and heard so many “no thanks”, that I seriously thought I had lost my spiritual mojo. I decided some divine intervention was most definitely needed. I prayed, “Father, I’m discouraged. If you want me here and you want me to collect food for this need, please send them to me. I can’t do this on my own. Please send me those with giving spirits and loving, caring hearts.” No sooner had I finished praying, a teenage boy approached. It didn’t look like he was there to do any serious shopping, so I let him pass me. He saw the sign and stopped dead in his tracks. He pivoted around and asked me “aren’t you supposed to give me a flyer or something?” Wow, well played. God had answered my prayer and sent someone I didn’t even give a second glance to. I handed him a flyer, gave him my quick “what we are doing here” spiel and off he went into the store. He came out with the first bag of groceries. More importantly, he was the first of many shoppers who shared his giving mindset. We were blessed that day. Two and half hours and four very full shopping carts later, we were able to fill the back of the truck from Ray of Shepherd of the Valley, when he came to collect the food. The shelves would no longer be bare. God is good all of the time, and it’s always best to answer the call.