I left my house this morning with a lot on my mind. I have a final paper due on Friday morning. My daughters were sick this week and still don't seem to be totally over whatever it was they had. This last weekend was wonderful, full and left me longing for simpler times. Times when my husband and I could go out whenever we wanted and not have to worry about being home by midnight or how much money we were spending. My heart was heavy with many things as I walked out the door...but the many things could be boiled down to one specific burden: worry.
Life is hard right now. Money is tight, my husband's health isn't the best, my daughters are wonderful yet challenging. Life is also good. I have a loving husband who is continually patient with me, daughters who are joyful and sweet, and wonderful friends. And yet...my heart is full of worry.
Worry that we don't have enough money to pay our bills (in reality, we don't). Worry that I will do something to land my daughters in therapy when they are older (I probably will). Worry that my husband will grow tired of being patient with me. Worry that we won't make it through. Worry that even our basic needs for food, clothing and shelter won't be met. Worry that I will have to do this, life, all alone. Worry, worry, worry, worry.
I walked out my front door and went to our station wagon. Our new-to-us station wagon. One we could not afford on our own. One that was provided for us. One that was an answer to prayer. I was driving a physical reminder of God's faithfulness...and yet my heart was full of worry.
I arrived at the bookstore and set down my bag, filled with my laptop and school books. As I walked away I hoped that my bag would be there when I returned. I began to order an iced latte and reached for my wallet. The kind barista told me how much I owed. Then as I looked in my wallet I realized I did not have my debit card. In my haste I had forgotten my card at home. I did not have enough cash so I told the barista to forget it, that I left my card at home. She looked sympathetic and I apologized for being so scatterbrained.
I returned to my table and began to take out my laptop and books. I worried about how long it would take me to write this paper. I worried about my girls at home and hoped they were doing alright. I worried if I would have the energy I would need to last the day.
As I began to type my paper I noticed the barista walking towards me with a drink. She smiled and set the drink down on the table beside me. "I just made it for you anyway...it's such a bummer when you leave your card somewhere." I was speechless and for some reason I wanted to cry. "Thank you...that is really sweet" I managed to reply. She walked away and continued to work while I continued to type my paper. I'm not sure if she did or will ever know the effect this simple drink had on me.
Suddenly, I felt reassured that God is faithful, no matter the circumstance. Maybe it's silly that I felt that way after someone gave me a free latte. But I did. This simple act of kindness helped melt away my worries and made me feel like I would make it through.
I would like to say that I walked away from this experience ready to let go of all my worry and trust that God will provide for my every need. I didn't. I began to worry about as soon as I walked out to my car. But that's what prayer is for, right?
Orthodox Prayer In Time of Need
Almighty God, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, come to my help and deliver me from this difficulty that besets me. I believe Lord, that all trials of life are under Your care and that all things work for the good of those who love You. Take away from me fear, anxiety and distress. Help me to face and endure my difficulty with faith, courage and wisdom. Grant that this trial may bring me closer to You for You are my rock and refuge, my comfort and hope, my delight and joy. I trust in Your love and compassion. Blessed is Your name, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, now and forever. Amen.