Hard to beat a day like today! Grace, Love and Generosity packed in one great day.
For the past two months we have been shopping sales, and buying up the supplies for Liberty Ridge Elementary to be a tangible expression of the love and heart of generosity taught in scripture. After all was said and done we were able to make $1,300 go a long ways…shocking the amount of stuff we were handing out to an overjoyed school. I woke up today excited for this give, which we did at 5pm today.
But as I went through the day looking forward to this it was the unexpected moment for grace, love and generosity that got my heart pumping faster than my recent Triathlon training. I was robbed.
Sitting at the Bonney Lake Starbucks (my office) in front of Walmart with many other fellow coffee addicts as well as those with no better place to go, it was time that coffee in needed coffee out. I did a quick take around me and thought all was safe as I usually know most of the other people in the building. I went a very quick tinkle and returned to see that my computer was missing.
I figured someone was pulling a joke on me so I did a quick walk around to see who popped in and attempted to get a reaction from me. But there was no such person anywhere to be found. I recalled who all was in the store and there was a young adult girl who was gone, all I could remember is she had a pink bag and so I asked the baristas if they saw a girl with a pink bag exit a moment ago, that my computer was stolen…the barista at the window told me she had run south of the store just moments ago.
I don’t know what got in me, but I didn’t call the police as I contemplated the reality that my MacBook Pro that runs Open Life, and our kids church venue might be gone (Thousands of dollars in value in content and the computer itself); I went after this girl leaving all my other belongings back at “the office”. Sure enough I found her hurrying away exiting the Walmart Parking lot heading towards Sumner. I asked her to stop and if she took my computer. She ignored me at first and that is when I said to her, “I could call the police, but I had not yet because she actually took a computer from someone who could help her.”
I was surprised as the words exited my mouth. She paused and began to cry and opened her bag and there was my computer. She asked me not to call the police and I told her I wanted to call someone who could actually give her help, Jesus. I explained that I was truly wanting to help her out of whomever she was running from or running to. She would not give me much beyond that she really didn’t understand where she was at. That someone had brought her out to Bonney Lake and she was trying to figure out how to get back to Seattle.
I asked if I could help her get to Seattle and if she needed to contact family or anyone who could help and she said just to get back to Seattle. So I got her on a bus to transfer to Seattle and paid for her ticket and some spending money. Then she gave me her name and let me pray for her. I prayed, gave her my card and asked her to call if she needed additional help.
I went back to “the office” and was just shocked that someone actually would be in a place where desperation would lead them to steal a computer in a Starbucks. I truly hope Jesus touched her heart and impacts others through the grace that was just passed onto her.
All that to say…the grace, love and generosity I woke up excited to share at LRE, was trumped by an opportunity to demonstrate it when no one was looking.
Our faith is truly tested in the intimate moments as much as the public moments.
We ended the day giving away over $1,300 in school supplies that brought tears to some teachers eyes, but it was that one on one moment that I will lay my head down remembering. Praying for this young girls life to make a difference in this world.