Aaron Shust was in concert in Raleigh at a church that holds only about 500 people. I'm not much of a concert goer, but I knew two of my daughters would be thrilled to attend. I didn't realize that I knew so many of his songs! Worshipful was the adjective of the night.
Just before intermission, Aaron (we're familiar like that now) and Chris Sligh (from American Idol) began a “commercial” for Compassion International. They asked all who were interested in “just checking out” a child to raise a hand. I didn't raise my hand. But I sat beside my 22 year old Candace who did raise her hand.
Why was she raising her hand? She is in fundraising mode herself, headed for a six month stint with YWAM. And even though one of my spiritual gifts is giving, compassion has long been near the bottom of my list. Kind of ironic, huh?
The ushers gave Candace a packet with the child's picture, birthdate, country and a summary of the personality of the child. She's sitting right beside me, but I am not going to look at that photo. “Oh, look mom, he's so cute. His name is Samuel.” No, not looking, won't look. I know what will happen if I look. I have to stay strong.
“Oh mom. You have to look at this.”
“You can look at it and tell me about it,” I reply.
“Oh, he's soooo cute!” She puts the packet in my lap.
Oops, I looked.
Melting.... Melting.... Faster than the Wicked Witch of the West!
He was so cute. But not as cute as I am strong. But then there's a tug. I knew I shouldn't have looked.
“OK God,” I thought to myself, “if his birthdate is a special date, if it has significance, then I'll know you want us to sponsor him.” I threw out my fleece.
I looked at his birthdate: September 13, 2000. Not much significance about that date. Candace's birthday is September 3rd and Rachael's is September 26th so it was kind of in the middle, but nothing special...really.
Tug. He is so cute. Tug. Oh, he's from Kenya. Tug. He's only 9 years old, about the same age as Joshua. Tug. He lives with his mom and two siblings. Tug. He eats mainly beans, rice and potatoes. Tug....
I couldn't take it anymore. OK God, his birthday has no significance but I can hear you loud and clear. We'll sponsor him!
It made me remember that Gideon used the fleece because he didn't have the Holy Spirit to guide him. I didn't have to wait overnight to find out if the fleece was wet and the ground was dry or if the fleece was dry and the ground was wet. God had spoken directly to my heart. I knew I had to obey.
Candace and Rachael of course were thrilled when I started filling out the paperwork. They couldn't wait to get home and tell Joshua about this new little guy in our prayers and in our lives.
Feeling renewed in so many ways, from the music to the sponsorship, the concert ended and we began walking out.
Rachael, who had been a few seats away from us and hadn't gotten to see the full packet yet, was perusing the information. All of a sudden, with much enthusiasm in her voice, she said, “Hey look! September 13, 2000....today is Samuel's birthday!” Yes, the concert was September 13th.
Tears were in my eyes.....a day of significance, a very special day indeed!
John 14.26 But the Counselor, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you.
Thank you God for the Holy Spirit! (And He's probably telling you to go back to the beginning of this post and click on Compassion International....I dare you....it could be a special day!)