When you see the signs, look for grace

empty_grocery_cartAt first glance, I thought she was Mrs. H.

But I knew Mrs. H had died and would certainly not be in a grocery store anyway. She had Alzheimer’s in her later years and was already in an assisted living facility when I met her.

The second impression was her question to me (or anyone standing nearby), “Where do they keep the bread nowadays? I can’t find it anywhere!”

I pointed and said, “Aisle 11, the far side of the store.”

But something went off inside me. I glanced in her cart, empty except for one head of lettuce. Her eyes seemed empty too.

The third sign: ten minutes later, I saw her still wandering the store, still with an empty cart except for the lettuce. I knew. The signs added up. Something was wrong in her world. Lord, send mercy.

     Earlier that morning, I had a funny feeling when I woke up.
A rumbling in my heart, my attitude uncomfortable with my own thoughts.
An unclean conscience?
I wrote it off.

Sign two? I read words that weren’t meant for me. Surely.
So why were they clinging?

The third sign was a scripture.
It was pointing a finger. At me. No escape. The signs were clear.
My soul was hungry.

When God sends you one sign, you might not notice.
Two, okay, you begin to wonder.
But three? He’s demanding your attention.

     You start looking around for Grace. 

I did. I found it in a course-change. And took it. Not cheerily, not cleanly.

But when Grace finds you, be grateful for its detour. 

And later when the worship music came, my heart could sing.

     When you feel the hunger, eat the Bread.

When you see the signs that something is wrong in your world,
fill up on Grace.

I feed on worship. Heavy praise.
It averts my eyes to Him.
He can handle my empty, guilty gaze.
And make me full again.

I need Grace when I’m adrift.
Strength for the right turn.
Wisdom to bypass my stupor.

I don’t know if my grocery store friend ever found her bread.
I pray she did.

I thank God I did.

They said to him, “Sir, give us this bread always.”

Jesus said to them, “I am the bread of life;
whoever comes to me shall not hunger...”
John 6:34-35

* * *

Do you see the signs? Are you looking for Grace too?

I know where to find the Bread.

8 comments:

Thoughts for the day said...

This is really a wonderful thought provoking writing. When I worked in a pharmacy I would see 'elderly' people come in and I often thought just as children they are vulnerable and need assistance. God tapped me on the heart many a times, to listen and observe and help if I can.

Tammy@If Meadows Speak... said...

"When God sends you one sign, you might not notice. Two, okay, you begin to wonder. But three? He’s demanding your attention." I don't know how many times that's happened to me. And I too love the worship of praise!

Lisa notes... said...

Thoughts:
We were blessed last night to go visit at a nursing home while my daughter and f-i-l sang to them. Many of the elderly there just wanted someone to listen to them and show they care. Such simple things.

Lisa notes... said...

Tammy,
I started noticing a few years ago that God really had to knock on my heart multiple times to get my attention. Especially when it was something that I was reluctant to do. So even though I try to do better now to pay attention the first couple of times, by the third time, I usually know I better listen up! ;-)

I’m glad it’s Wednesday; we often have a great night of praise each week from 5:30-7:00 that I so look forward to.

tinuviel said...

What a great perspective, that a call to change course is God's grace! Once again, Lisa, wise, honest words clearly presented.

Enjoy your worship evening tonight!

BarefootButtercup said...

"When God sends you one sign, you might not notice. Two, okay, you begin to wonder. But three? He’s demanding your attention."

Oh no words have been truer to me. I have learned that when God wants my attention I better listen the first time, because when He speaks the third time its like OOPS! Okay Im sorry I'll listen. Ive had God try to get my attention and failed to listen and its not that He is not as nice the third time around, but I dont feel as happy about not listening to him in the first place ykwim?

Excellent post!

Lisa notes... said...

I did enjoy my evening worship! I was fed the living Bread from Psalm 4. So much there speaks to me:

Psa 4:1 Answer me when I call, O God of my righteousness! You have given me relief when I was in distress. Be gracious to me and hear my prayer!

Psa 4:4 Be angry, and do not sin; ponder in your own hearts on your beds, and be silent.

Psa 4:8 In peace I will both lie down and sleep; for you alone, O LORD, make me dwell in safety.

God is good to be so patient with us and to bless us so richly despite ourselves.

Lisa notes... said...

“…its like OOPS”. Yes. I know that feeling. I’ve noticed God even works with me that way with people I need to talk to. I’ll see them the first time and walk the other way; the second time, I start to think it’s weird; but by the third time I can’t wait to get to them because I know something is up with God!

I’m thankful He’s the God of more than one chance because I usually need several chances. Grace—so thankful for that gift of His!

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