If you read this earlier post I mentioned how that while preaching Sunday my cell phone distracted me. (I had it on vibrate, btw!) Usually I leave it in my truck on Sunday mornings, but Sunday for whatever reason I chose to have it on my belt.
It must have been a God thing because not long after I felt my phone ringing I spoke about distractions that make us think we don't have time to give to others in need. Well, the phone call was for me a distraction while I was talking, so, unplanned, I told the church that my phone had been "ringing", and since everybody who knows me also knows I'm busy on Sunday mornings, it could only mean one of two things. Either it was a wrong number or someone is in need and is asking me to help.
I opened the phone and sure enough, the call was from Engine 21 - one of my fire department's engines. (I am a fire department chaplain). Since I couldn't return the call just yet, I waited until the song that followed my teaching. Capt. Elko told me that an 84 year old had been found dead in her bedroom chair by her son, and he was understandably shaken. Could I come?
So, after church I drove to the home and spent some time with him, praying for God to bring him comfort.
Sunday's talk was about loving those outside of the Christian family with the love of God. And one of my bullet points was that we need to be ready, because we never know when God wants to use us to share that love. When you read the stories of Jesus' encounters with the needy you also get the idea that they were unexpected - at least from the human viewpoint. But He was always ready to say a word or give a touch and meet the need.
God used that moment to very vividly illustrate that point to the church. It certainly wasn't in my notes.