A summer storm was brewing somewhere off in the distance. I could smell it. Trees waved their arms in warning and leaves quivered in fear.
I closed the book I was reading to make a mad dash to the grocery store, glad it was only a few miles away. Just ahead an angry dark sky threw bolts of light to the earth, and stomped heavy feet on heaven’s floor.
Speedily, I whipped into the store, grabbed my three items, and zipped through the express lane.
I was quick, but not quick enough. I lost my race with the storm. The sky split open and a deluge descended. Sideways sheets of rain blocked the parking lot from view.
I stood captive by the door with other shoppers waiting for the storm to pass, or at least ease up a bit. Then I heard a baby crying – not an uncommon sound in a grocery store. But there was something about the cry that pulled at my heart. I turned my heard to spot the source.
My eye found a weary mother with groceries piled high in her shopping buggy. She stood in the checkout line with two carefree little girls, about seven years old, singing, giggling, and clapping their playful hands together. I imagined they were having a sleepover. What fun.
But mingled with the giggles was little sister…crying. Tears dripped from big brown eyes, down chubby cheeks, and off her chin. It was then that I realized that while a storm was raging outside the building, there was a greater storm brewing within its walls.
There was something about the toddler’s cry I couldn’t decipher. Was she tired? Was she hungry? I couldn’t tell at first, but something or Someone told me to watch closely and I would soon find out.
The little girl, not yet two, held up her arms to her mommy, begging to be picked up. Instead, her mother jerked her from side to side.
“Didn’t I tell you to shut up? Now be quiet,” she reprimanded.
With that, the cries ratcheted up a notch. Then the little girl walked behind the check-out counter and lifted pleading arms to the cashier. The uncomfortable teenager kept her eyes focused on the can goods and cash register –never acknowledging the wailing urchin at her side.
The older sister, thinking the scene rather humorous, pulled her sibling out from behind the counter.
“Tasha, come out from there. You don’t even know that lady,” she scolded.
Still crying, little Tasha turned and noticed I was watching. We locked eyes, which to her seemed like an invitation. It was. Tasha walked over to me, wrapped her precious tiny arms around my knees and rested her wet cheek against my legs.
As I patter her back, she put her thumb in her mouth and quieted her heart. I then understood the source of the cry. It was hunger after all.
After a minute or two, Tasha pulled back, looked up at me, and held up her arms. Her mother, as well as everyone else held captive by the storm, watched.
“May I hold her?” I asked the mom.
She gave a one-nod yes.
I gathered little Tasha in my arms, and she nestled her head against my chest. Automatically, my body rocked back and forth in the instinctive mommy sway. Tasha continued sucking her thumb and resting her heart. Her hunger was satisfied, if only for a moment, as I fed her soul with love.
Tasha’s sister and her friend came bouncing over, curious about this lady who held her baby sister.
“I like your dress,” one said.
“And I like your shoes,” said the other.
“I like your green shirt,” I replied.
“I’d like to go home with you,” the first one whispered.
I just smiled, as my heart wept. Perhaps there was a storm brewing in big sister’s heart as well.
All too soon, the storm cloud passed and the pelting rain slowed to a drizzle. Reluctantly, I handed the toddler back to her mother, who most likely was hungry for love as well.
After bidding the giggling duo farewell, I dashed to my car.
I waved goodbye as they watched me drive away – a smile on my face and tears on my cheeks.
The Holy Spirit had sent me, not only into a storm, but to calm a storm. It caught me off guard. I hadn’t expected to encounter God in the grocery store. It was a moment of sudden glory where God made His presence known.
Yes, [tweetherder]Jesus still calms the storms – and sometimes He uses our arms to do it.[/tweetherder]
Life is full of moments of Sudden Glory when God makes His presence known. Don’t missed them! To learn more about how to recognize God’s presence and working smack dab in the middle of your busy day, check out my book, A Sudden Glory: God’s Lavish Response to Your Ache for Something More. You can download a free chapter and watch free videos.
Just beautiful! God is……..amazing. This changes my perspective.
There are so many times God call us to comfort people, only to turn away from them. What a blessing you were to that family, God with skin on.”
I have read this devotion by you before and it brings about the same longing in my heart as I had before for what you provided for that sweet, needful baby. I am hungry for the comfort of my Jesus. I try to find it in other things……..things that need my attention, volunteering, food, social media activities…….and I still always have this aching space in my being. I ask Him every day for forgiveness for my lack of focus on Him and for His guidance in my day, yet I put forth little effort to seek Him out. Oh, I talk to Him all day, I pray for others, thank Him in the small things that go on throughout the day right down to if my hair turns out alright. But…..I am so bad about setting aside a portion of my day just for Him and at the end of the day I am so empty and sad that again, I failed. Thank you for this reminder that we are to seek His face.
Blessed are those who are hungry for they shall be filled. Its really in the little things that mean so much. Things that we ignore and very often take for granted. A smile, laughter at just the right time , someone saying excuse me, or I’m sorry. A person nodding their head at just the right time. I think the message is clear “what the world needs now is LOVE SWEET LOVE and that is given through Jesus Christ!
What an awesome testimony to the power of following the promptings we receive. I have tears in my eyes as I type this.
I sÃµ wish for Him to hold me so I can put my head on His shoulder to feed my heart. I hope that He will use me also to open my arms to someone who needs to feed a hungry heart.
“Just had a chance to read this amazing story! Thanks, Miss Sharon, for making tears come to my eyes more times than not! Your real life makes impressions on our hearts! I want to be that kind of “”Jesus with skin on!””
Be blessed today, my friend!”
Sharon I wish and pray that God uses us to create more women like us! I have had this same thing hapen to me. It tears your heart at how unfeeling human beings can be. The saddest thing is that most of the time the person doesn’t even realize it. Unconditional love should be the only love there is! Thank you for showing yours for the world to see!
o my you have no idea what you just did for me I just read the husband prayer.I have been praying for my husband for this prayer will help me immensely. You see I never grew up knowing god till the last few months I gave my husband to the lord because I cant help him. He grew up in a Christian home. But he has lost his way. He has been drinking heavily for 2 years now.I have been asking god to guide him. to take care of him. Your husband prayer covers every thing.I want to thank you immensely.
Great stories.Enjoy reading them.
This blog was so appropriate to my Sunday School lesson. Isn’t it amazing how God does that, puts something in your hands when it is needed or is a reinforcement.
This was so encouraging to me,to want to be a yielded vessel HE can use.It’smy desire to be more sensitive to that still small voice.i don’t want to have missed opportunities. Thank you,Sharon.Your devotions are new to me.I have already been so blessed!