It was a Saturday, it was a get-it-done day.
As a hairdresser that worked every Saturday for 20 plus years I have enjoyed the fact that I no longer work behind the chair on Saturdays. I decided several years ago that I was old enough and had done that long enough that I would stay at home on Saturdays. Yes, it would be a “take care of the family” kind of day.
Productive or Selfish?
I enjoy cleaning the house, working in the yard, cooking for my family, and this day would give me the opportunity to do just that. Did I mention I am a get-it-done kind of person? I like checking things off my to-do list. It is embarrassing, but I will do something that is not on my list and feel great accomplishment to go write it down and check it off. I know – I have a problem!
But the problem is much bigger than that. I have a selfishness problem. I didn’t really see it as that at first; in fact I saw it as productive. You know the feeling, right? I wanted my time to get my stuff done. Let me give you an example of this: Well, it was more than an example – it was a wakeup call. One that I needed – desperately.
The call came on a Saturday morning, I was busy – you know – getting stuff done. My husband was outside working on the back porch we had wanted for years. It was going to be a very productive day. We were both home and busy little bees doing our thing. Until… a disruption: I could hear the laughing of boys at play. I wish I could say this made me happy, but not so much. All that went through my mind was “we are not going to get as much done as I thought.” I hate that this was my first thought but I am just being real with you.
I looked out the kitchen window and there they were. A sweet young family that we love dearly stood outside. The husband was there to lend a hand, he was always coming over to help in any way he could. He also works during the week with my husband’s grading business. You would think that working five long, hard days would be enough, but not with this young man.
On to how this affected me…
I waved to his wife out the kitchen window, she waved back and smiled. The next thing I knew she was at the door in my garage inviting me out to sit and chat. I declined and explained how busy (read: selfish) I was inside. Closing the door I watched her help herself to a fold out chair in the garage and take it out to a small tree in the back yard placing the chair in its shade. As I watched this young woman sit comfortably under the tree the Holy Spirit prompted my heart, “GO sit with her.” I countered with the usual “I have so much to do” narrative. “Go sit with her” the Spirit urged again.
I took a deep breath and headed to the garage to get a chair. I plopped it down beside her and to my amazement it felt nice. I had never seen our home from this perspective. The conversation with her has always come easy. We sat and chatted while watching the men work and the boys play.
Our conversation turned to things of the Lord (Proverbs 31:26). Most of our talks did, but this day was different. It was deeper, more intentional. We talked of her dreams for her boys. She so desires them to know the Lord. She wants their lives to be different from what her life had been. Most importantly, this mother was hungry for the Lord. We talked about God being first in everything. I shared with her the importance of a church home and for the boys to know that God loved them and He had a plan for their lives (Jeremiah 29:11). It was a wonderful time together. The time passed by quickly with no thought of laundry or cleaning the floors. It was a time of sweet fellowship.
The Difference Made By a Day Under a Shade Tree
It’s been almost 3 years since that divine interruption. The growth in this young mother is amazing. She has co-taught in a children’s Sunday school class, she has her boys at church, and she is attending a Monday night ladies Bible study. I consider her one of my dearest friends. Wow! What a difference a day sitting under the shade of that tree made. What if I just kept cleaning? I don’t even want to imagine. I can’t wait to see what the Lord has in store for this family as they grow in Him.
I am so very grateful for a God who prompts our hearts to do the better things, to do the things that make eternal differences (Hebrews 3:7-8). I love that the Lord would also use this young woman to teach me how to sit and enjoy fellowship. As I read Titus 2:3-8 it is a reminder of how we as older women are to instruct the younger women to live. It’s a beautiful picture. How else are they to know how to be a Proverbs 31 woman?
I want to leave you with a simple question. Is there a shade tree you need to sit under? You never know who would sit with you for a while.