The ringing phone broke into my thoughts. I glanced across my paper-strewn desk and sighed. I don’t have time for this, I thought. Some days at work are just too hectic!
The phone jangled a second time. I put down my pen and stretched my back. Better grab it before it rings again. Reaching out, I picked it up. It was Leah.*
Leah had left five voice mails the day before. I had called her back twice, and we’d already spoken once today. God, I really don’t have time for this today. Not now. Not again.
Even as I thought that, I smiled and spoke. “Good morning; this is Jill. How may I help you today?”
“Oh, Jill, I really need you right now,” Leah’s voice came over the phone.
“Leah, how good to hear from you again!”
She launched into the difficulties she was facing. They somehow sounded very similar to the issues she had shared when we had talked just a couple hours before. As I listened, I tried to straighten the papers on my desk and log a couple of items on the computer— something to make me feel as if I weren’t wasting my time. Again.
We talked awhile and I tried to listen, but my heart wasn’t in it. I didn’t feel as though I had time for this today. Turning my head toward the other women in my office, I rolled my eyes. They watched me, amused.
Suddenly Leah spoke. “Jill, could you pray for me now?”
Ouch! The enormity of what I’d just done washed over me. Leah was God’s daughter! He loved her. And I had just rolled my eyes and taken lightly the needs of one of God’s precious children. How could I pray? What a hypocrite!
A deafening silence filled my ears, and I realized that Leah had stopped talking and was literally waiting for me to pray. Me? With my sin-filled heart! Who was I to intercede on her behalf? Oh, God, what have I done?
I began to pray, for there was nothing else to do. Somehow I made it through, and we said our goodbyes. As soon as the phone clicked, I turned to my coworkers. “I’m so incredibly sorry! Can you forgive me for my attitude—for my selfishness and indifference toward one of God’s daughters?”
They were generous and kind, but the pain in my heart remained. Later, in the quietness of the evening, I took my sin-filled heart to God. “Will You take out this sin? Will You forgive and cleanse me? Will You remake me into Your image?”
So today, and every day, I’m asking Him for His grace, His love, and His Spirit for each one who crosses my path. After all, we are all God’s children, still growing in grace.
* Not her real name.