Wednesday, October 8, 2008

The Raw Truth

"Surely you desire truth in the inner parts;
You teach me wisdom in the inmost place."
Psalm 51:6

Sometimes the raw truth takes your breath away. Sometimes it hurts. Yesterday, the raw truth did both of these things to me.

As I was going through the check-out line at our local grocery store, the cashier said "Hello". I returned a friendly greeting and then asked her, "How are you doing today?" Her response was one I had never gotten before. She said, "I just got a divorce. You'll have to ask me how I am doing another time."

In a bit of shock at her gut-level honest answer, my jaw dropped for a moment. I lost my breath and a lump formed in my throat. I felt tears pooling up in my eyes and just tried to keep it together. I didn't know what to say, and she kept her head down as to not make eye contact.

As I bagged my groceries, I just prayed for her. I prayed God would give me something to say. There was really nothing to say at that moment. I just prayed for her. I wanted God to touch and heal her heart that very moment. If I was reacting this way to the heartache of a stranger, how must her heart be broken to pieces at the personal devastation in her life.

We finished our transaction all too quickly. As she handed me my receipt, I looked at her face hoping she would lock eyes. She didn't. I used her name that I saw her name tag and politely thanked her. I was hoping that somehow the intentional soft tone of my voice and my sincerity would speak volumes of God's love to her. I left the store feeling tugs on my heart.

As soon as I got outside the walls of the grocery store, I reached for my cell phone and called Jim and told him about the brief encounter I just had. My heart ached for this woman and I just let the tears flow as my husband compassionately listened. I told him again how much I loved him and how much I appreciated him. While I do this on a regular basis, today it seemed even more important.

I remember the woman's name. I remember her words. I feel the heartache. My heart is still praying for her. As the Lord leads, I'll bring her a card and a book that will comfort her with His words. I know God put me in that check-out lane yesterday. She is on my heart. I am asking God to keep her on my heart and to speak to my heart about how to show her His love in action.

May His redemption, salvation, new life and perfect love satisfy and fill her heart.

The raw truth. How are you? Pour your heart out to Him. He is listening. He hears. He knows your heart. Perhaps read the first three chapters of 1 Samuel and see how God answered the prayers of Hannah, who poured her soul out to Him.

"In bitterness of soul Hannah wept much and prayed to the Lord. "I am a woman who is deeply troubled; I was pouring out my soul to the Lord." "
1 Samuel 1:10, 15


Jill said...

I'm so sorry for this woman. Being a product of divorce myself and then unfortunately or fortunately going through one depending on how you look at it - because we know I would not be where I am today if things were different.

My heart breaks for this woman too and everyone who goes through divorce. I am joining you in prayer and will lift her before our Father asking Him to fill every broken piece of her life as only He can!

Your heart always blesses me Sharon and so lucky to know you, be able to hug you and call you friend!

Love and blessings today!
PS I am eternally grateful God brought Scott to me and how He rescued our marriage and brought us to the feet of His Son!!!!

Chatty Kelly said...

I hope this woman does have Jesus in her life. He is the only man that will never leave or forsake her. Not that some of us don't have WONDERFUL husbands. But they can't be our everything. Only God can be our everything.

I'm glad you had your sweet husband to help you after your "raw truth." But I'm so glad you went to your Father before your husband - - because he is the one who can help the cashier the most.

Heather said...

Hello friend -

I had my own fair share of Sharons during my divorce and you need to know that your care and concern will not go unnoticed - you may never know the impact you have, but trust me, God will richly reward the woman of whom you speak and you through this.

I prayed for your checker - I will continue to pray for all who suffer this form of pain - there are days when it feels unbearable, but God puts Sharons in our lives on those days and on the good days too:) He is in the details, every single one.

Thank you for your loving heart. Thank you for sharing this so that others may be blessed and think about their own reactions to similar situations. Thank you for the friend you are to so many. You have done it to the least of these and so, you have done it for Jesus.

Love you!

Stacy said...

Hi Sharon-I always think these times are divine appointments by God. You were the vessel used to pour out His love onto this woman...even if you didn't have words to say in that moment. Even through the prayers that we lay upon God's throne for others, interceeding on their behalf..God will work mightily.

Aren't our husbands so sweet for listening as we pour our hearts out and weep for others!

Oh that we can all have Jesus's eyes and see everyone as He sees them, have compassion on them and stop the busyness of our lives to minister, as you did, to all those hurting around us.

Thanks so much for this post. It has blessed me. I will pray now for this woman and that God would use you again to touch her life.

Glad I stopped by this evening.

In Christ,

Leebird said...

Hi Sharon,

I haven't been to your blog in a while, but I know for sure God ordained my visit today.

My life has been very "raw" lately. You can read my last few blog posts for the details if you feel so inclined. Yesterday, I started meeting with a counselor and have such hope that God will use the time I spend with her to heal my heart.

My heart aches for your grocery checker. Bless you for taking the time to "give a rip." Most people wouldn't have taken the time. Good for her that she had the boldness to be honest about how she was doing. I pray that God will open a door for you to love on her again...or should I say an opportunity for God to love on her using your heart and arms. :)

Hope you are well....Lee

Pinkshoelady said...

Hey there sweet friend,
I loved this story. Not because I like what is happening to the women but because God used you. You don't know what a smile like that can do. I know I have been on the recieving end of that smile. I have never been through a divorce. But I will never forget the customer that I was waiting on when the phone rang at my register. It was my mother telling me that my father had cancer.
THat lady cried with me and gave me that smile. She said more by saying nothing at all! I knew she was praying for me.

My father is now cancer free and quiet healthy for a 73 year old man.

I never saw the woman again but her face I will always remember.

You just never know the impact.
One way you have helped her is by this story everyone who reads it has probably sent up a prayer for her.
I know I did!
Thanks for sharing and being real!

LynnSC said...

Hi Sharon,
I jumped over from Susan's blog. I am glad I did.

I am part of an online book study... and the verse that used at the top of your post is our verse for the study. How awesome is that??

I love that you were sensitive to the Holy Spirit as He pricked your heart about this checker. I pray that He will give you another opportunity to cross paths with her. Just telling her that you have prayer for her since your last meeting will be like a balm to her pain.

I desire truth in my inner parts,