God Uses Styrofoam Cups

Some people may be a little shocked at the title. What is he talking about? Is he implying that the Lord doesn’t care about the environment? God wants to fill the planet up with trash that doesn’t ever go away? The simple answer is no, that’s not at all what I am saying.

This past Sunday, we had a drama group and my wife sent me out with a supply list and a target store to get said items (no reference here to the store by that name). While her mission was to make a lunch for the crew, mine was to get what she needed. On the way, perhaps it was God impressing His will upon me or His work in my heart over time, I prayed, “Lord, I am pastor of my church but help me to be a pastor, a shepherd, to the people of this community.”

After nearly completing the list at the store, I had only one missing item, styrofoam cups. “What do I do?” I wondered. “Time is of the essence and price is always a good thing to think about. Where do I go?” I dismissed a local supermarket chain because time and money were both potential negatives there. The solution to both problems was the local dollar store, so off I went.

While pulling in, I noticed a woman on her cell in front of the store. She was visibly upset and appeared to me to be the clerk at the store. It’s not that I recognized her, I just had the sense that this was the case. As I entered the store, she followed me and she felt compelled to explain her state of being.
Her nephew was five years clean of heroin. For some inexplicable reason, he decided to throw all of that away and get high again. An aneurysm, time on life support, and just like that he was gone at the tender age of 35. With half a lifetime ahead of him, maybe more, he was sucked into eternity by a choice and his body’s reaction to it.

I felt terrible for her and for her family. In a moment like this, what do you say and what do you do? Some words did come out that I hope showed that what brought her sorrow moved me. Then I told her about the service, and we could pray. Would it be okay if we had a name. So she told me the name of her family and asked for prayer especially for her grandson. This twelve year old boy apparently idolized him and now, with him gone, it would be extremely difficult time for him.

That evening we prayed and I thanked God for the answer to prayer I received. I plan to go back to that dollar store and seek that dear woman out. Would you pray with me that God would use me beyond this simple interaction? She was most pleased by my concern and maybe that is all that the Lord would seek to do through me but, if there is more, I want to be obedient and a vessel for my Master’s use. Thank you ahead of time for your prayers.

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