The little dark haired boy stood staring down at his feet as the woman helping him find the right size shoes fastened up the velcro on yet another pair. “How do these ones feel?” she asked. The boy hadn’t spoken at all since he came into the room, just nodding shyly when he had to. “I think these are the perfect size for you,” the woman announced and she stepped back and asked him what he thought. No response from the youngster.
“You know what I think? I think you could run very fast in these shoes!” With those words the boy looked up and started smiling until he was grinning. His eyes opened wide and he spoke….. “Watch me!” He ran back and forth in the small room and we all clapped for him. “Watch me again” he said as he went out to the hall and ran up and down the hallway and came to a quick stop in front of us. “Yay! Good for you! You are fast” we said to him which just made him smile all the wider and he proudly walked out of the room to meet his Mom.
This young person was just one of the 100’s of children and youth that came through Outreach Centre during the month of August for back to school shoes. Some came with ripped shoes, sizes way too small shoes, excited faces, sad faces, some in large families and some alone. Each one came with a story that God knows and each one came loved by a Heavenly Father.
It was a month of God showing me how He is in control of all the details and that He is faithful to provide what is needed. He taught me lessons on giving up control, abandoning outcomes and trusting. Towards the end of the month our stock of shoes was running very low and kids were being turned away due to not having anything in their size. It was the middle of the week and a few shoes had come into the church so the next morning I delivered this small offering to Outreach and was feeling a little down about the fact that more kids were going to be turned away. I walked into the shoes room and was blown away to see a room full of shoes! I couldn’t believe it! All I could say is “God what have you done? ”
What happened is that God put the need to purchase a large number of shoes on a few people’s hearts the day before. What happened is that God was working behind the scenes in ways that are more wonderful than I could have imagined. What happened is that God’s ways are so much greater than mine.
And so now I sit and ponder and plan for the fall and all the opportunities that lie before us as a church with our schools and local partners and I say “God – what are you going to do next?” And He smiles at me and says “Laurie….Just watch me!”