Monday, April 22, 2013

A Funny Thing Happened at Ikea

God is relentless! I thought we had reached a happy place in our (His) quest to make me bolder. You know, I agreed I needed to work on stepping out boldly, living my life more on faith and less on knowledge. And I made a few forays into boldness, but like I said, I was working on it. Jesus, I'm not done yet.

But He had to ramp it up a notch on Saturday morning.

So we're sitting there in the Ikea restaurant, sipping on mediocre (but free before 10 a.m.) coffee, waiting for the 10 a.m. mad dash into the store when it opened. We were discussing the new direction God has pointed us in, a new mission we have started calling "the Eleventh Commandment mission". We were wondering what the next step God might have in mind for us to take. I glanced out over the sea of breakfast diners and soon-to-be-shoppers, and noticed a woman heading toward our general vicinity (on her way to the condiments counter behind us). She looked to be in her early 60's, wearing a bright yellow and green floral bandana cap such as a chemo patient might wear to hide her hair loss.

I made eye contact and glanced away and immediately sensed God telling me to look again. I did. And God told me, "You need to tell her I think she's beautiful."


I tried to ignore the instruction, drown out the voice, but that only resulted in tears crowding into my eyes. Why, I don't know. Minda said something about God's plans and I said, reluctantly since I knew it would make it more difficult to ignore, "God just sent me a message."

"What is it?" she asked.

"I'm supposed to tell that woman over there that she's beautiful."

"I hope her husband doesn't mind!"

"No! I'm supposed to tell her God says she's beautiful."

"Why are you still sitting here?"

So, we stood up, and meandered in the general direction of this woman, who was sitting at a large table rapidly filling up with her family members. I secretly hoped Minda would head out to the store instead, or someone would trip me and I would fall to the ground unconscious, or a fire alarm would ring and we would stampede to the exits - anything to avoid stepping out of my comfort zone and talking to a strange woman about something that might be a hot button for her.

But no, Minda stopped a few feet from the woman's table and waited for me with a half-smile on her pretty lips.

So I stepped over and rested my hand on the woman's shoulder. She looked up and I said, "This is a little weird for me, but God told me to tell you he thinks you are beautiful." She looked stunned, sort of smiled and said, "Thank you."

I turned and walked away and was washed with a rush of God love, feeling so strongly that this obedient son had just pleased his Father. The tears threatened again and I smiled at Minda as we waited for the store to open.

One more step forward in boldness...