Thanksgiving Thoughts…

There is something about a Wendy’s hamburger that draws me to stop by their restaurant. Fresh juicy hamburgers hot off the grill, crispy fries and don’t get me started on the chicken nuggets…with BBQ sauce… gotta have their BBQ sauce!

Regardless of the allure, I was led this one day to stop at a particular Wendy’s and walk inside to grab one of my favorite meals. While standing in line and smelling the fond reminder of why I was there… I was captivated by yet one of my other senses. A sweet melodic voice rang out in soft tones which overwhelmed my olfactory senses. I turned to see an elderly woman sitting in a booth near to the front door – she was alone and sang softly bits and pieces of hymns I have known throughout my life. As she sang she would pause and intersperse prayers and blessings of joy toward God.

I was captivated by this woman. I gathered my food and sat a little bit down the way from her and began observing the other patrons in the restaurant. Some appeared to be put off by the woman and sought to sit as far away from her as possible. Another group of younger patrons sat next to me, laughing at her singing and outward prayers. The mood of these people was obvious; they saw her as a crazy old woman. Yet, she was so warm in her demeanor – she would politely say “hello” and “God Bless you” to the dismissive people walking by her.

God prompted me to introduce myself and sit with her for awhile. She was kind and gracious as she invited me to sit with her. She told me of a long and storied career she had enjoyed as a singer. She shared her successes and her sorrows. We talked about the abusive relationship she had experienced at the hands of a husband who had beaten her for many years. She spoke about her escape with her children and how God had blessed her in the years which followed. She took my hands and spoke with great sincerity about her identity as a Christian and her love of God.

As she poured out her life story one thing stood out – the tone of her story was one of gratefulness to God. In spite of a life filled with abuse, hardships, and her current situation with her son – she still found it impossible not to give thanks to her creator, her father in heaven, to God.

I left that part of the story out where she sold all she had at the bequest of her son and his invitation to come and live with he and his family here in Florida. When she arrived she soon found out her welcome was short lived as problems erupted between her son and his wife. He was about to kick her out of his home. She had no friends here. She didn’t know what she was going to do. Her money situation was dire. Things had gotten so bad at his house that in the mornings he would drive her down to this particular Wendy’s and leave her there throughout the day. When the day was through he would come and pick her up to return home.

So much not to be thankful for… Yet her spirit could not be contained as she laughed, sang and gave praise to God.  I was humbled in her presence and thought to myself how petty I must seem to not be as thankful as I should when things don’t work out the way I would want them to. Gods’ word says:

“Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you” – 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 (NKJV).

She is a signpost for my life, a reminder that I must trust God and give thanks equally in the hard times as well as the good times. As a result of her sorrows and travails, she walks a path which draws her ever closer to God and builds unshakeable trust in Him.

As we parted ways, we prayed together and I shared with her some resources we have at Christian Helplines. I told her of a relationship we have with a church near to her that could further embrace and assist her. I also agreed to stop by and see her from time to time and check on her. As I left I recalled her saying she had been fighting a cold and couldn’t afford the “Cold Eeze” medicine she needed. God gently urged me to go to the drugstore across the way and get her the medicine she required. She cried out in joy at receiving the item. “Praise God…Praise God!” was all she could say as she kissed my cheek.

In the days and weeks that followed, I would stop by Wendy’s to check in on her but she was never there. I never saw her again. .

I still think about her; her sweet gentle spirit and how the impact of that meeting has helped me. That meeting happened because I was open to and simply responded to the prompting of the Holy Spirit. My confidence came from Christ and the training I have from the “How Can I Help?” materials. This whole story is an example of what your contributions yield in support of this ministry. The kind of effect we can have as Christians on the world around us. By simply caring when the rest of the world wants to walk on by…it reminds me of the parable of the Good Samaritan found in Luke 10:25-37.

This season, be thankful for all that God has blessed you with. We pray that God will continue to bless you abundantly. Pray for us as we serve the Lord and continue this ministry. As always, we ask for you to be supportive of your church and whenever possible; please remember Christian Helplines in your giving. Know this, your gift of any amount goes toward making disciples, bringing the love and comfort of Christ to those hurting in a fallen world and helps spread the word that Jesus is our Lord and Savior.

Thank you for your patronage to this blog. Future posts will be made on Thursdays of each week and remain a constant fixture of Christian Helplines ministry. We invite you to join us each week as we will seek to highlight the good your support is bringing to communities and individuals across this nation by Gods’ grace and through Christian Helplines.

God Bless you and have a Happy and Safe Thanksgiving!

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