One of my co-workers, Betty, was out on Monday with her sick daughter, Elizabeth. On Tuesday I received a text pretty early that they had been in the ER all night and Elizabeth was going into surgery – an emergency appendectomy. A little later another update came letting me know Elizabeth would be in the hospital at least 5 days.
Some other co-workers and I gathered some cash together to buy Elizabeth some hospital goodies and to buy dinner for Betty and her husband, so that they wouldn’t have that added stress. I went to Target yesterday after work and started loading up on treats – markers, silly putty, socks, a new notepad, and then the slippers! Hospitals seem so sterile and cold, so slippers would be perfect, right?
Well, I got to the cash register and started checking out. My plan was to spend half on the goodie bag for E and the other half on dinner. The slippers put me a little over budget, so I asked the cashier to put them back. The sweet lady behind me chimed in and asked, “What’d you put back?” I let her know they were just some slippers. She proceeded to offer to buy them for me. I assured her it was okay, that I just wanted to have plenty of money left to cover a meal for some friends. She was persistent, but kind of backed off. So as I was finishing up paying, the cashier mentioned how nice a gift it would be for Elizabeth and how she had surgery a few months ago and some of the same things I was purchasing were so nice to have. So, the lady behind me chimed in again and said “Let me buy the slippers! It’ll be my gift to your friend.” I said, “Okay! That would really be a blessing for Elizabeth. Thank you.” I was grateful to her. I could have taken care of the slippers, and my pride wanted her to know that, but I felt like the Lord was just saying “Accept this as a gift.”
Fast forward to today. I drove to the hospital with a couple of co-workers to hang a banner signed by everyone at work and to deliver the treats. Betty wasn’t there at the moment, so we met her father-in-law who was staying with Elizabeth for a while. We talked for a bit, but E needed her rest, so we left pretty soon after giving her everything.
A couple of hours later I received this text: “Oh Wow! Y’all are tremendous friends. Thank you for the poster, goodies and most of all your visit! Did you bring those slippers? Because that was the first thing she wanted on when we got back.”
I immediately thought of how loving and intentional the Lord is. It would have been fine to put the slippers back, and if that lady had not been behind me to purchase them, the goodie bag wouldn’t have been incomplete. But God used her to bless Elizabeth and remind me of his love for his children.
So, if your name is Sarah, and you shop at the Target in Flower Mound, please know that God used your gift to bless my sweet friend, Elizabeth, and to encourage me to listen to the prompting of the Holy Spirit even in something “small”. You just never know how he’ll use it to bring glory to his name and spread his love.