My position and route at Fed Ex was suddenly changed two weeks ago. In one text I was moved from a route that I was familiar with and fast and fluent in to a more random route in which my pick ups and deliveries are unpredictable and constantly changing. I love the relationship building that happens in a regular route. I had customers I cared about and friendships that were emerging. I felt like I went down hard, suddenly offline, stranded in the middle of a lot of stories. This change came without warning, or person to person communication. I was on my way to load up for my route and my Fed Ex phone flashed up something different, and that was the end of that. I do not like surprises of this nature, it felt like sudden death. It still feels out of control. Since then what is emerging is a trend towards downtown Chicago deliveries. This is really hard! I have done a lot of Chicago deliveries, but the ones right in the Loop and in locations like McCormick Place and along Wacker Drive, these are daunting! Making a delivery or two or three in the City is different than spending the majority of the day in the chaos and noise and frenetic buzz of Chicago. Honestly I have felt overwhelmed, overstimulated, and I have been in tears a number of times.
Last Thursday I was pulling out of my driveway heading into work when I felt a strong prompt to park and run inside the house for a little cash. This was frustrating because I was running late and traffic has been getting worse with the warmer weather. I didn’t think I needed it, I had my credit card. I began to ignore the prompt and the instant irritation in my spirit alerted me that Holy Spirit was urgent in this. I stopped ran in and grabbed a 10$ bill out of my desk, then raced off to work. A couple hours later I was downtown again, this time delivering orchids along Lake Shore Drive and other stops too. I will often meet the homeless folks seeking help at intersections I am driving through or stopped in. I routinely ask the Lord, “give some $$, my sandwich, a gift card?” Holy Spirit is consistently clear and directs me. One time last summer I was over by the Museum of Science and Industry and I felt the prompt to give....I searched and had no money on me, so I offered the man a container with pink grapefruit wedges in it. He smiled and touched his stomach while shaking his head “no.” I then offered him a ziplock bag full of shelled peanuts, (this was all I had) he smiled at me, pointed to his mouth where there were zero teeth, and we laughed so hard together! The food, the help this time was the laughter and the joy we shared! A new friend!
Thursday afternoon I began to slow in a long line of traffic waiting for a left turn arrow. I could see a woman up ahead working the intersection. I felt Holy Spirit prompt me to get the $10 ready. I could see from a distance that there was something deformed about her face, her left eye. I didn’t think I was going to be able to interact with her because the traffic began moving, but of course it bottle-necked and left me waiting first in line for a another red light. I could see the woman clearly now and I think she was missing her left eye all together. Her flesh over her eye looked burned or taught somehow. To my surprise I could see that her right eye was also compromised, very cloudy, as if with cataracts. I rolled down my window and called to her, but it was loud and she couldn’t hear me. She was walking away from my van and I felt such urgency in my spirit now to giver her the money, so I honked the horn. She instantly stopped and turned my way, and began to come. A few steps in though she got disoriented and began to stray away from my van. I honked again, and she adjusted and moved towards me, but again hesitated a few steps in. I began to lightly honk my horn over and over, and she followed the sound until she was right at my window. I had just enough time to give her the $10 and take the green left arrow.
As I drove away I began to cry. Ever been trying to tell someone about something your going through or experiencing and it’s not clear if they totally get it. Or it feels like such a lonely place that it’s difficult to believe there’s any way to “feel with?” I had been feeling that way about my situation at home and at work. I am still trembling through the ending of a 28 year marriage. I am writhing as I messily learn resting at work and in these circumstances, but it’s seriously messy. I want an easier job, and an easier life! So I have this experience with the blind woman, and I hear Holy Spirit say, “that’s how you’re feeling isn’t it?” Not really a question...YES!!!! I shout out loud in the van! That’s it, that’s exactly what it’s feeling like to trust You right now! I feel blind, and surrounded by chaos! I feel startled over and over by noise and unexpected traffic and bad weather. I am really tired. I don’t know where I am going or what Your plan is. I feel like You are honking the horn and I take a step or two towards you, because I really only want to follow Your voice and be where You are. I seriously only want this....but it’s really hard. I take a few steps and get stuck or unsure and You honk and I take a few more steps and then I’m not sure again, and You honk some more. I’m certain I am making my way to Your side, I am hearing Your Voice and You haven’t stopped honking. I just wish it didn’t feel so dangerous and exposed. I cry some more. Holy Spirit and I talk about this....I am feeling myself being filled with the empathy of God. He really gets how this is feeling for me....Holy Spirit’s like Jesus.... He’s left Heaven and gotten in my shoes and in my van and under my skin and HE KNOWS!
Next Holy Spirit says, “how did you feel about the woman?” So I being to say things like .....
I admire her inconceivable courage ...”Yeah that’s how I am feeling about you..”
I am eager to giver her this gift, provision, I want to give her so much more than this...”yeah, that’s what I am feeling about you...”
I feel proud of her ...”yeah, Me too, and that’s also how I am feeling about you”
I want something better for her, something a little safer, less exposed...”Yeah, Me too”
Family Lord, I want her to be able to go home....” I Know”
On and on...we are still in the conversation.......
I AM... HOME this is the Name He said in January would be the theme for this year. So I am declaring HOME over my blind sister, and over Thrive Vineyard Church, and over myself and many others. Risking a rebellious and ridiculous hope because He’s Worthy of the risk, of the danger and of the exposure. I am confident in His voice (honking) and in His Promise to teach rest and peace and perfect love.