Welcome to my blog...

Green trees, cool water, a gentle breeze...the perfect place to sit at the feet of the Master and learn. Jesus taught so often on the shoreline, and He's still speaking today.

This is where I share the lessons He teaches me, often during the time I spend on the shores of a local lake. I don't have all the answers...and some days I don't have any. But I go here when I need to draw near to Him in a tangible way. Come with me...

Monday, March 4, 2013

The Purple Sock




It was seeing the purple sock that "put her over the edge"...that caused her to make the call.

She had thought about calling when she didn't see me in church yesterday.  I had gone to service the night before, but she had no way of knowing that.

She had thought about calling me when she hadn't seen me much on Facebook...I guess she missed my post that I'd be off social media for the next month to refocus (with the exception of an occasional blog post).

But when she was in the mall parking lot killing some time waiting on a family member and looked down to see a purple sock on the ground by her car...well, she knew God had been prompting her all along to call me.

What on earth do God and purple socks and phone calls have to do with each other?  For this friend and I, it is a special bond created almost 3 years ago.

In 2010, the head of the women's ministry in our church was looking for a way to keep women connected over what was usually a 'hiatus' period...the 3 months of summer.  She came up with the idea of a book club with a twist.

We were all challenged to read books from the Yada Yada Prayer Group series, about a group of women from very different backgrounds relationally, financially, and culturally.  They meet at a women's conference and while there, one woman experiences a life crisis.  This becomes the impetus for them to stay in contact even after the conference, eventually forming a prayer group and a bond of friendship that lasts a lifetime.

We could read the books at our own pace - it didn't matter if it was just one or the entire series, but at the end of the summer, we were invited to come together for a pot luck to discuss the books, the characters, and how some of what they experienced impacted us in our walk with God.  Although this was a fictional series, there was a lot about the circumstances in the characters' lives that could be applicable to each of us.

August came and the women's ministry leader had a job conflict that kept her from attending the pot luck.  That was unusual because normally, she had the entire month off as vacation - the timing of which was imposed by the very employer who now needed her.  But God is no respecter of routines when it benefits his purposes.  She phoned me a few days before the dinner to ask if I would oversee it.  "Can you just facilitate it?  Ya know, ask a few questions to get and keep discussion flowing?  It's pretty informal."  I hesitantly agreed.  I had just started heading up the CommunityConnections outreach ministry earlier that year and didn't want to take on even a simple "overseeing" of an event...but I acquiesed.

To make things a little festive, I began thinking about how to decorate the room.  Those who know me well, know this is NOT a gift or ability I possess in my natural state, although God is faithful to provide ideas when the need arises, and this was one of those times.

It dawned on me that on the cover of each book, the women in the group wore crazy colored socks.  I went to the dollar store and bought several pair of the craziest I could find, unmatched them and arranged them in the center of the tables.

After we had eaten and the discussion began to wind down, I told the women to each choose one sock.  When they had done so, I told them to find the person who'd chosen the 'mate' to their sock and that was to be their prayer partner.  The women, who wanted to continue meeting just like the characters in the book, loved the idea. 

That was the birth of the monthly women's prayer group I facilitate to this day.

I and my phone-calling friend each chose the purple sock.  We have it as a tangible reminder to pray for each other.  In fact, sometimes, when writing to one another, we address each other as "PSF" - purple sock friend.

The amazing thing is, when this friend made the call to tell me I had been on her mind, something was happening at that very moment.  Something even I was not aware of until several hours later because my phone was turned off. 

That evening, now aware of those circumstances and trying to process what had occurred, I was standing in my kitchen praying when God brought her to mind.  I have many friends and a good number of people to whom I can turn if I need prayer, but I immediately thought of my PSF as the only person I could unburden to in this situation.  As I picked up my cell phone, I saw I had a message. 

Her message. 

The one telling me that God had been prompting her all day to pray for me. 

Later I learned how she had seen the purple sock and how it was then she knew it was a real call to prayer, and I began to cry. 

We had just been studying the first half of Psalm 139 in that prayer group the week before.  We talked about how God knows and sees all - before we speak he knows what we will say...and before things happen, he knows what will occur.  I said my favorite verses were 5 and 6:  "You have hedged me behind and before, and laid Your hand upon me.  Such knowledge is too wonderful for me;  it is high, I cannot attain it."

He hedged me in through the prayers of a friend.  Through the reminder of a purple sock.  What the prayers were for is not the issue.  What is important to me is that even when I didn't know what was happening, God did.  And even when my friend didn't know what was happening, God tapped her on the shoulder and said..."call".  The situation still happened, but knowing that God saw it and was preparing my friend to offer comfort, gives me tremendous peace and confirms what I already know - that He is in control. 

The next time God prompts you to call someone, do it.  And the next time you lose a sock and have no idea where it's gone, don't get upset...God may have need of it as a divine intervention.


 

4 comments:

  1. What a beautiful story. I love how God can and will use very ordinary things in our lives to help us connect with one another. Must be like when we love seeing our kids be kind to each other, feels so good inside.

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    1. Indeed God can use anything Susie. I'm reminded of a story of a friend who was moving to another state. They had looked at several houses and liked one, but weren't sure if it was "the one". As she and her husband stood on the grounds and discussed what to do, they saw a plane overhead. It was a skywriting plane and it wrote out, "Jesus loves you". They bought the house. :)

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    1. Thanks dear friend...as I told you, I don't know for whom this was written, but I know God wanted it in print!

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