And Now These Three Things Remain: “Faith, Hope and Love”
During the recent unrest in Kwazulu Natal I decided to help protect my community by joining the security and patrol teams. I was joined by a young man who was equally willing to serve. The first time I saw him I actually thought he was there to beg for food. Please don’t judge my automatic assumption: he was not well dressed, had dread locks in his hair, his teeth were terrible and it all added up to what we normally see and assume is a homeless man or beggar.
During our days of community service we started chatting. My new friend was incredibly well spoken and funny. Not once did he ask for anything even though I noticed he was a smoker and I smoked a lot during the early hours of the dark mornings. We were an unlikely team: a Mum of two little boys and my bedraggled friend with the biggest heart. As the violence petered off and our patrols were no longer required as frequently, I stood down and went back to my usual life.
Yesterday I nipped out to Checkers to buy a few groceries. On my way home, I realized I had forgotten to buy cigarettes so I stopped at the Fresh Stop Garage that had been the meeting point during the unrest where those willing to serve and protect would congregate before dispersing onwards.
Given the uncertain times we are living in, I decided to buy an extra box of smokes. As I walked out of the shop I saw my young male friend standing at the neighborhood security sign that had been our gathering point. He was clearly still serving our community.
We greeted each other like long lost friends and he mentioned that he had been delighted to see another community member the day before who had had very kindly bought him a pie. Realizing that the pie was probably all he had eaten for the last couple of days, I decided to get him some food too. I handed him my extra box of smokes, lit up his cigarette, and asked if he would prefer a loaf of bread or another pie.
He politely said that bread would be better because it would go further.
I went back into the shop and heard God whisper to me gently, “If a man asks you to walk a mile with him, walk two.”
I didn’t have much money left in my bank account but I decided to trust that God would provide.
While I walked around the small shop selecting apples, bread, milk, coffee, sugar and tuna, God placed just one word on my heart which echoed over and over.
It was the word “HOPE”
Hope. Hope. Hope.
“You need to give this man HOPE!” God nudged.
“Okay Lord,” I answered, “how do I give this man hope over and above what I am doing now?”
Silence. Was the inner voice from God or was it just me?
As I turned toward the cashier with my basket of goods, I saw a table full of homemade biscuits. The label on the biscuits screamed out as boldly as the words were written across the box: “HOPE”
I grabbed the biscuits with delight and paid for the goods.
As I approached the young man again, I reached into the bag and pulled out the biscuits and pointed at the label.
“My friend, God wants you to have Hope!” I told him with much joy.
The young man’s eyes welled with tears and he thanked me profusely for the kindness and encouragement.
But that wasn’t the end of the prompting from God. When I got home I watched two completely different TV programs both of which were about hope! Random? I think not!
It is my belief that in God’s economy there are no coincidences, only God-incidences.
God is wanting me to tell you to have HOPE, today and always.
My favourite verse is from Jeremiah 29:11 “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord. “Plans to give you HOPE and a future.”
So my friend, trust God. We are living in turbulent times but hope is given freely to ALL OF HIS CHILDREN no matter who we are or where we come from.
Post By Abby Scott