I decided that I knew what I was supposed to do with the ridiculously large stash of coins I had amassed. I filled up a side pocket in my purse with change. I made sure I had easy access to it so as to have no excuses or fumbling when opportunities presented themselves. I had the exact words ready in my mind for the people God put in my path. I resolved to do my best to see these people who were asking for help in the same way that the Lord does-- His beloved and priceless treasures, worthy of love and respect.
Several days went by and-- nothing!
Not one person approached me or asked for a handout. What in the world! This never happens, right?
At this point I sat down and asked myself "What am I missing? Am I really ready?"
The more I thought about it and explored some of my attitudes, the more I realized that I wasn't. God's timing is rarely what we think it should be. I was rushing ahead and trying to do things in my own time and in my own way. I needed to look at clearing up some of the hardened and fearful areas of my heart first. Not fun.
"You cannot run away from weakness; you must some time fight it out or perish; and if that be so, why not now, and where you stand?" - Robert Louis Stevenson.
For most of my life, I was a cynical and skeptical person. I trusted no one and was actually an extremely mean and bitter individual. In my mind, I was smarter than the con men (or women) who were trying to fast talk me out of my money. Oh, and I was what my brothers used to affectionately call me-- a "miser"-- too. So, you can see where I might have accumulated a little plaque on the old ticker in the areas of me turning loose of MY money to people I didn't even know.
When I turned my life over to Christ, I became a new creation. Those who knew me before were astonished at the miraculous transformation. I suddenly knew how to trust and forgive and love and so many other wonderous things that I never knew before. I wasn't plagued by regret for all of the years I had spent in the darkness, I was thankful for the light, because I knew it was all going to be used one day to help others who were going through the same things.
So why the snag all of the sudden?
Because I needed to remember the way I used to look at people. I needed to feel and imagine how it must have felt for them to have someone like me walk by without even looking at them, or worse, telling them to "get lost". I needed to hurt for these people who were already lost (not necessarily unsaved, but have lost their way somehow) before I could truly look them in the eye and honestly tell them that God loves them and I did too.
I kept on working on a deeper compassion, kept the change ready, and continued to trust and wait on the Lord.
Thankfully, it only took a few more days before I was given my next step....