I was about as poor as I ever want to be the winter I was going through a divorce. We had a propane gas tank that needed to be refilled regularly. I was at that point where I was almost eligible for the maximum amount I could get to help pay my heating costs for the year. The gas company had been really gracious about extending credit, but I had reached the limit of what they felt they were able to extend. Emergency Services had turned me down, because my cumulative three-month income hadn’t reached their requirement. A storm was coming that weekend with ice and snow. I knew there wasn’t enough gas in our tank to see my family through. With seven children in the house, ages three to thirteen, I was anxious, afraid and didn’t know where else I could turn.
So, I had gone to the one place I knew to get help. It was a teary place. While I was praying in my bedroom, I heard a sound that I was not expecting at all. There was clanking on the propane tank and sound of pumping gas. Getting up, I saw one of God’s angels, for someone had bent the rules. I never knew who made the decision to come and help us out. I never knew if it was our familiar delivery person who refused to turn away from my family, or if it was someone in the gas company who chose that moment to have compassion. What I knew was that I had received an answer from God. God’s messenger of grace had just arrived. When the deliveryman came to the door, he said that they had only put in one-hundred gallons, not the usual five-hundred our tank took. But it was enough.
Within a couple of weeks, I was able to get the Energy Assistance I now qualified for. Even, all these years later, I cannot tell this story without tears coming to my eyes and my voice choking up. I am reminded of God’s messengers of love, who come to us in unexpected moments, showering us with mercy and compassion.
I remember, that God continues to nudge us to acts of compassion, mercy and love. And sometimes . . . when I listen with my heart . . . I remember that I can be one of God’s messengers of grace in another person’s life.
The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases,
God’s mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning;
great is your faithfulness.
“The Lord is my portion,” says my soul,
“therefore I will hope in God.” Lamentations 3:22-24