From the archives:
I went to the bank to make a deposit some time ago. There was only one teller on duty at this small branch. The line was long. I waited patiently for the five people who were in front of me. It seemed to take forever for each one to do his or her business.
Finally, my time arrived. With her usual cheerful countenance, a teller named Connie said, “Next.”
I stepped to the window. I handed her my deposit. She counted the cash in typical bank teller fashion. After the second time her nimble fingers worked their magic on my $20 bills, she looked at me and said, “You’re one short.”
Instantly, I thought I knew what had happened. Earlier, I had tucked the deposit under the sun visor in the car. When I pulled it out, one of the $20’s must have gotten stuck and separated from the deposit.
Regardless, my time waiting in the line was wasted. Not only would I have to return to the car to find the missing money, I would also have to wait in line again. GRRRR.
When I returned, I was glad to see that only one person was ahead of me. An elderly woman who could barely see over the counter was standing at the window transacting her business. I heard her tell Connie in a shaky voice that she had gotten lost on her way to the bank. She said it took her over an hour to find the place. She then asked if Connie could tell her the best way to get back home. Connie said, “I’m new here. Even if I wasn’t, I’m terrible at giving directions.”
The dear woman’s shoulders drooped. Even though I was standing behind her, I imagined a concerned look on her face. Connie’s eyes met mine. A look of concern was on her face. I spoke up and told them both that I would help this woman find her way home. Connie was relieved. The woman quickly stepped aside to let me conduct my business. But, she didn’t go far. She was like a frightened little child who didn’t want to get too far from her daddy.
Connie deftly handled my deposit. This time it was correct. The older woman and I were soon out the door. I was able to give her simple directions back to a familiar place. All she needed to do is make one right turn and then one left turn on to a road that would take her to familiar environs within 10 minutes. She would be parked in her garage within 15 minutes.
She was so grateful. I was humbled. We went our separate ways. As I drove towards home, I remembered my wife saying, “Not everything that happens to us is for us.” This just happened to me.
God had a job for me. It wasn’t a big job. It hardly required any effort at all. But, it did make a big difference in this woman’s life. She was probably praying about her predicament as she searched for the bank. God had her answer all worked out. His Spirit working inwardly in me was producing the fruit of patience necessary so that His servant was in the right place at the right time. All I had to do was walk my talk and I would be right where God wanted me to be to help this dear woman find her way back home without incident.
Why was I so humbled by this? Well, I almost blew it. For a brief moment, while I was standing behind this woman, the thought that crossed my mind was something like, “I don’t need this. I might have to drive several miles out of my way just to lead this woman back to her neighborhood. I’m in a hurry. I have places to go. I have important things to do. Keep quiet, Bill. It’s really none of your business, anyway.”
When the trembling hand of this dear woman touched my arm as she was thanking me for taking the time to help an “old woman,” I knew I’d done the right thing. I’m glad the Spirit of God guided my steps in doing something good. I’m glad God used me to help this dear soul that day.
I still wonder how many opportunities like this I’ve missed, because I was not walking in step with the Spirit. Does anyone else ever have similar experiences?
© Bill Williams
September 4, 2016