I was killing time waiting to pick Caroline up from school. I did not have enough time to go home and I didn't have enough time to accomplish anything productive. So I sat in the front seat of my car throwing Chick-fil-a nuggets to Thomas in the back seat; waiting for him to finish his lunch before walking into one of my favorite boutiques. A store where I never buy, I just browse and wonder why my family room doesn't look this orderly and quaint. While waiting, I happened to glance up and notice a Planned Parenthood on the same strip mall where I was parked. It wasn't surprising to me that it was there, I knew it was there, I just really never gave it much notice. I do not know much about this organization, though I have seen people picoting with anti-abortion signs on the streets near their building, so one can only assume what is sometimes practiced behind those doors. I suddenly felt God's presence sitting right next to me in the car, and my heart started pounding. I had no idea what was going on, but I literally began to break a sweat, and I started asking God what He wanted while knowing deep down that I really didn't want to hear it. I was beginning to feel an urge to witness to someone, but I can't say that I clearly heard that command from God....I just knew something was happening that He was very present for.
I began justifying to myself that no one was even there, there was nothing to be done, no one to talk to or witness to and I certainly couldn't just walk into the office. As I was mentally uttering all of this nonsense, a car pulled right up to the front of the building. "Well that's just great", I thought. My heart kicked up its patter, and I continued with my excuses...."maybe she is going into the bank, please God let her go into that bank that is right next store, I would feel so much better Lord, please". I sat watching this woman from across the parking lot sit in her car with her head down for about 2 minutes. It felt like 2 hours to me while I watched her car and pressed on with my excuses for God. Then her door opened, she got out of her car with a piece of paper in her hand and walked straight into Planned Parenthood. My heart sank, and I sat in disbelief.
I decided to pull up next to her car and wait, still with no plan and no strong sense of what I was supposed to be doing anyway. Thomas was growing restless, but I couldn't stop praying for her, and I couldn't bring myself to leave. Several, much longer minutes passed and while my head was down in prayer I heard her car start and my head shot up. I watched her quickly pull back out of her parking space and drive away. We never made eye contact, but her face has been burned into my retina. She was young and tall and had straight, silky, dark brown hair. The beautiful kind of hair that doesn't require a flat iron. I wonder why she was there, I wish I knew. I wish my mind wasn't left to wonder, and now I will never know. I haven't the slightest idea, except a nudge from the Father telling me she needed something. I sat deflated in my car wondering what that girl could possibly need that the maker of the universe thought I could share with her? He could in an instant reveal Himself in all his King of Kings glory, and we would all be on our knees. He is truth and life and needs nothing from any man. He is the I AM, the first and the last. Why wouldn't He stop time for just a moment and mentor to that girl right in the parking lot? She would have believed Him, she wouldn't have been able to resist Him.
My evening tonight has been an unusually quiet one, and I have been able to reflect and pray. I have realized something that I already knew, and now I sit ashamed at my ignorance over the past 8 hours while my eyes have been wide shut. None of this is about me. Not even the part where He redeemed my sorry, pit dwelling life...it's still just about Him. It is His story of suffering and redemption. It is His story of holiness and love. It is his story of faithful, undeserving, forgiveness. Just like when Abraham carried his son up the mountain to offer him as a sacrifice out of obedience to God, it wasn't about Isaac, it was about Christ. It always has been and always will be about Christ. It's about the radical fact that God carried His Son up the mountain and offered Him as a sacrifice to cover our sin, my sin. It is all about Jesus. So why in the world would I think my experience today had anything to do with me?
Out of God's grace, He allows us to be a part of His story. We are not worthy of it, and He doesn't need us as characters to make it more compelling. However, He is overflowing with grace and He desires us to walk alongside of Him, to draw near to Life itself. What an opportunity I missed today. I was being handed a chance to witness God do something miraculous and I choose the lesser path. How sad. And because I know that no part of this encounter today was about me, I know that God is working it out with her, whatever the circumstances, big or small. Because I choose not to move, doesn't mean that God isn't moving. In fact, He already has. It is finished and He is already on His throne.