Published July 9, 2013

Shelia Shares....
"Missed Opportunities – Your Responses"

Last week I shared the story of a missed opportunity to talk with a girl, who was crying in her car at a convenience store. I heard from many of you.

"Yes, I think you missed the opportunity to talk to this young woman. She may have needed someone to talk to that she didn't know and would be able to share her story with you. You could have shared your story about Jesus and how He will help her get through her situation."

"I believe we go with out hunches. Better to err on the side of help rather than to ignore. But, do not beat yourself up over it. We all have had similar experiences. Sensitivity to God's direction takes a lifetime."

Another said, "I would have been afraid as you never know in this life what is going on in others' lives. We can always pray. Prayer is very powerful. I will pray too."

I have talked often to people in a grocery store or Walmart. But, with the girl sitting in her car, I was more hesitant to approach. Would she understand my motive or feel threatened? Her state was shaky to begin with and would I help or make it worse?

Another reader shared, "I had a similar situation happen to me a couple of years back. There was a young girl at the gas station sitting in a car crying and she was with a young man that did not in my opinion look like he had very good intentions. I wanted so bad to talk with her when he went into the store and kept going back and forth in my mind whether I should have told her that Jesus loved her and no matter what it looked like in her life at home, she should go back and trust God. Of course, I did not do that and I felt the Holy Spirit inside me saying I should have gotten involved, but since I did not that I should pray for her well-being and for other laborers to come into her path. I believe the Holy Spirit was leading me but I was too concerned about what would happen to the young girl if the young man would have come out and saw me talking with her. I should have remembered the verse that He Perfects The Things That Concern Us (Ps 138:8). Thank you for your input because now I know that others make the same mistakes."

The following response tells the story from the opposite side. "When reading your story today, I was reminded of what happened to me at Cracker Barrel. My husband and I used to enjoy eating there and after he was called home to glory I had a gift card for there. I told the lady one person, but when she grabbed the menu, she took two and two silverwares. When the server came to the table, she asked if I was expecting someone and I replied, 'no he's not coming.' I don't know why that came out, but it did without thinking. That started the tears. I should have left, but I figured I could get it under control. That didn't happen. I sat there crying with every bite I took. Two ladies that sat near by stopped and the one said, ‘I hope your day gets better. I will pray for you.' I thanked her and then shortly after I just had to leave. I appreciated her comment, knowing that someone would pray for me because I surely needed it. I am sorry you did not get to say anything to that young lady, but God knew your heart and perhaps someone else would cross her path later. Next time, I am sure you will be ready and willing."

Sometimes all that is needed is a willing ear to listen to the hurt and cry along. Look for opportunities to share Jesus' love.

- Shelia

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