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Moments Lead to Moments

March 28, 2012

I was ambling through Whole Foods the other day (because that’s really the only way to make it through our tiny Whole Foods without getting frustrated), when my phone rang.  I didn’t recognize the phone number, but it was the second time this phone number had tried to reach me that morning.  I picked up, expecting a dr’s office or the likes.  Instead, I got a phone call that changed my day.

Ms. Elaine and Isaac

The caller on the other end was Ms. Elaine, a childcare worker from our church.  All my kids had been with Ms. Elaine, the youngest was just getting ready to leave her in the toddler to the room to graduate to the Preschool room.  All of my kids have loved Ms. Elaine and have felt the warmth of her love.   Ms. Elaine is a retired preschool teacher, among things, and spends a lot of her time sitting on the floor, reading to my normally very active boy.  I was wondering why Ms. Elaine was calling me and thought maybe it was because of Isaac’s impending move to the preschool room.   Instead I was greeted by this:  “I heard you were a Mennonite.”  Well, yes, I was in a former life, about 10 years ago before joining the Methodist church.  This was followed by:  “I love the Mennonites.”

When anyone starts talking to me about Mennonites, I feel the need to figure out what they do and don’t know about Mennonites.  For example, do they imagine that I grew up leading a life of simplicity, riding in a horse and buggy, forgoing electricity?  I didn’t.  Recently, I was asked what a Mennonite was, and like always, I started by explaining what it wasn’t (all of the above).  If people are still interested, then I launch into the Mennonite stance of active nonviolence (a step beyond pacifism, but definitely pacifism), social justice, and believer’s (versus infant) baptism.

Ms. Elaine knew all of this.  It turns out she spent seven years where my mom’s family was from in Pennsylvania.  She worked for a seminary with Parish Relations and visited Mennonite churches.  She talked about attending Sunday School classes made up of just women, some of them older, holding toddlers on their laps.  She talked about what fond memories this held for her and what respect she had for Mennonites.

My thoughts immediately turned to my grandmother, still alive at 87 years old, who used to attend and teach Sunday School classes like Ms. Elaine described.  After the phone call ended, I finished my shopping, checked out, returned home and promptly called my grandma.

My grandma and a great granddaughter

I told her about my phone call with Ms. Elaine, who of course, my grandma didn’t remember.  However, it gave my grandma and I the chance to talk for about a half hour.  We talked extensively about the declining health of my grandfather, and then moved onto what kept my grandma afloat while she went through difficult church times 50 years ago.  I shared about a similar group I am in now, which she hadn’t known about.  She talked about her worries and her concerns.  She was anxious, especially at the beginning of the conversation.  I found myself saying things to her that she once would have said to me.  I gave her reminders that God is in control so we don’t have to be.  God will provide, and God will lead if we are willing to follow and see the path God has laid before us.  I am confident, less than 10 years ago, she had said similar words to me.  I was echoing her faith back to her.

When I hung up the phone from talking with her, she was much more relaxed.  My aunt, who lives with my grandma, told my mom how glad she was that I had called that day; how much my grandma had needed it.

I felt like I could take very little credit for it.  All I did was answer my phone in the middle of Whole Foods and stand still to talk for a moment. I simply followed where God led me that afternoon.  The dishes in the sink could wait.  The shopping could wait.  God’s path that was laid before me in that instant could not.  Luck?  Chance? Serendipity?  I don’t think so.  Just an instance that led to responding to God’s call for  that moment .

2 Comments leave one →
  1. March 29, 2012 3:51 am

    that’s responding to God’s call all right. it would’ve been so easy to go on with your busy day. thank you for sharing your beautiful story.

  2. March 30, 2012 12:39 pm

    Thanks Leanne. It makes me realize a bit how much I probably miss God’s call because I’m just “too busy” to notice.

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