Will You Pass the Blessing?
By Connie Coppings
At Thanksgiving do we remember to thank God for those who have blessed our lives? Do we put into action the verse, "Beloved if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another" (I John 4: 11, NKJV)?
We moved to a small town years ago where my husband was assigned to minister. While unpacking one day, the phone rang. A lady from the local school said my name had been given as a possible mentor. I told her I would think about it and call her back.
I came up with all the reasons I couldn't do this, but then a thought entered my mind. Connie, do you remember all the people who have taken the time to bless your life over the years? I knew this was from God, certainly not from me, as I was too busy being selfish at the time.
Faces of family, friends, teachers, and coworkers crossed my mind. Each had sacrificed to help a shy little girl find her way. I was thankful for these people and how they blessed my life. Could I do any less for someone else? I was still hesitant, but called the school and agreed to be a mentor.
I was nervous about the first mentoring session. I was shown to Sarah's classroom and introduced to her. We went down the hall to a room to spend some time together. I sensed this was going to be a long hour. Nothing prepared me for what happened that day.
Questions---wasn't that how you got information from others? "Tell me about your family."
"What are your favorite subjects? Do you have any favorite foods?"
There was not even a faint shrug of her shoulders. All my fears that I would fail at this came rushing in at once. How could I help a child when she wouldn't even speak to me? I prayed about this over the next week and decided to give it a little more time.
I went back over the next several weeks and the scene was repeated---I asked questions; she sat in silence. Then one week something different happened.
I asked Sarah another question. She looked at me, "You ask too many questions."
After recovering from the shock of hearing her speak, I told her to get me to stop asking questions, she needed to talk. From that time on, we began to make progress in our relationship.
We celebrated such things as improved grades and the fact that she was becoming more assertive in expressing herself. I was thrilled to watch her blossom and I hoped that one day we might even be able to talk about Christianity.
Sarah surprised me one day by greeting me with, "Can I call you on the phone sometime?"
I was pleased she felt that safe with me and agreed she could call once a week. The staff at school couldn't believe she was calling me and sharing herself so freely.
In numerous phone calls Sarah had mentioned that she was going to a church near where she lived. In one of her last phone calls she stated, "I went forward at church and accepted Christ last Sunday and was baptized."
What a joyous announcement that was to hear!
I haven't heard from Sarah in quite some time, but she is always in my heart and my prayers. I often reflect on the fact that I almost said no to Sarah. It grieves me to think I thought my agenda more important.
Philippians 2: 3-4 says, "Let nothing be done through selfish ambition or conceit . . .Let each of you look out not only for his own interests, but also for the interests of others" (NKJV).
Have you been blessed by others? Then, please pass the blessing!
Copyright 2014, Connie Coppins. Used by permission.
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Connie Coppings lives in Kentucky with her husband, Bob, a retired pastor. Her writing appears in The Upper Room, Christian Devotions (online), Mature Years, Devotions (Standard Publishing), and in a local newspaper column. She can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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