"Your Turn"
(by Sharmaine L. Hobbs)

9-18-2008 Church Within SOW Seeds Service - Story #510

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Greetings my Dearest Sisters and Brothers, and welcome again to Church Within's Story of the Week ["SOW Seeds”].

This week's SOW Seeds Story, contributed by: Patije

Story of the Week
“Your Turn”
(by Sharmaine L. Hobbs)

I was on my way to the mountains to visit The Homestead about four years ago to soak up the scenery and cleanse my soul. It's a ritual that is like pressing a reset button in my life. The scenery is so beautiful.

While driving, I got the urge to stop in a small town to go to a dollar store to buy some colored writing tablets. These tablets inspire me and the colors seem to be able to pull the words out of me.

I got off at the Lexington exit and saw a Dollar Tree Store. I had never shopped there and didn't know if I would find the tablets that I love there. I almost decided to keep driving and go to the next exit, but instead, stopped for lunch and then went to the store. I did find some pretty writing tablets and was eager to get back on the road to get to The Homestead.

When I went to pay for them, I realized I had left my cash at home and only had $8 on me. I had credit cards thankfully and my purchase came to $7.28. That was ironic because of what happened next.

As I was pulling out of the parking lot approaching the stop sign, there stood a woman holding a sign that said, "Stranded - need money to get back to Michigan." I read her sign and briefly our eyes met. I drove off, but instantly I knew that THIS was the real reason that I was prompted to get off at that exit.

I went to the nearest gas station and explained to the attendant that I wanted to help the lady just down the street who was stranded. I would charge the gas to my credit card, give her the receipt, and he was to accept the receipt and give her the gas.

He tried to discourage me, saying that somebody had a similar sign on a camper a couple of days before. But that didn't matter to me. I was sure in my heart that I was the person who was supposed to help this woman. I would rather be counted as an angel in the eyes of God than a fool in the eyes of the gas attendant.

Besides, many, many years ago in the cold of winter I passed by a lady without a coat. The still small voice said "give her your coat." I only had one winter coat myself, but I did have an all weather coat at home. I kept going, but once inside I knew it had to be God nudging me to do this and I decided to do it. I was only in the building for a few minutes but when I came out she was no where to be found. I felt awful. I made the decision then and there that I would always honor that still small voice.

I imagined how this woman from Michigan must have felt being miles away from home, a stranger counting on the goodness of others to extend her a helping hand. I felt a warm feeling inside knowing that I would be the bridge to get her back on the road and "back home."

I remembered being stranded with just a flat tire, but that can be stressful if you don't have a spare. It took 45 minutes before someone stopped to help me. I knew that someone would. I just had to be patient. I knew this because I have always tried to sow good seeds and be generous so I knew that in MY time of need, someone would step up to the plate and help me.

This lady was miles from home and stranded. Yet God knew exactly where she was and used me to answer her prayer. I left home thinking I was going on vacation. I got off the exit thinking I was buying writing tablets, but God had another assignment for me that day.

Suppose I had listened to the gas attendant for fear that I was being taken advantage of? Suppose she really was taking advantage of me? I may never know.

This I do know: If you have never been in that place in your life, it's easy to dismiss a person who is reaching out for help. But if you have been at a low place in life, you will always rise to the occasion because you remember "when" and the old saying "there but for the grace of God go I."

You never know how you will be used to answer the whispered prayer of someone else. When you feel the gentle urge to be a Good Samaritan, rise to the occasion.

Or maybe YOU are the one stranded at an unfamiliar location in your life like the woman was -- remember God knows exactly where you are and will send you the help you need. Don't be discouraged if people keep passing you buy. The right person with the right heart is on their way to you.

A Good Samaritan IS coming your way. And when things get better for you, it's your turn to be one.

Pastor's Quote of the Week
“…Now, about this time, a certain Samaritan, as he journeyed down to Jericho, came across this wounded man; and when he saw how he had been robbed and beaten, he was moved with compassion, and going over to him, he bound up his wounds, pouring on oil and wine, and setting the man upon his own beast, brought him here to the inn and took care of him. And on the morrow he took out some money and, giving it to the host, said: `Take good care of my friend, and if the expense is more, when I come back again, I will repay you.' Now let me ask you: Which of these three turned out to be the neighbor of him who fell among the robbers?" And when the lawyer perceived that he had fallen into his own snare, he answered, "He who showed mercy on him." And Jesus said, "Go and do likewise."

(From: The Urantia Book - Paper-194 Section-1)

The Prayer
Dear God,        
        Help me to truly see, all that You are showing me.

You ALL are Within the Infinitely Loving Embrace of our Universal Parent,

The Creator's Eternal Love to all of You,
Pastor Daniel

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