For the past month I’ve been blessed to frequent a tiny store on Thousand Oaks Blvd. It was hit and miss if the store was going to open so one day I called my friend Jan Moon and said, “Jan, will you pray with me that God won’t open the store unless He wants us to open the store and is going to bless it.” Jan said, “Absolutely!” and she prayed.
Then time went by and the first day we opened the store I looked up to heaven and said, “Okay God… this is your little corner of the world. I can’t wait to meet the people you send through these doors.”
I should have known that God hears the tiniest prayers of others and each day God has sent the most amazing people, and before most of the people leave they all say, “I have no idea why I came in here today!” I smile and say, “God sent you!”
Yesterday afternoon a woman walked in and we chatted. She’s looking for the movie, “Hunger Games” so if anyone has a copy, please send it my way! Any way, before she left my friend, John, walked in who has an amazing group on Facebook called, Lets Find 1 Million People Who Really Support Our Severely Injured Veterans. He’s going to bring stuff in so we can help him raise money too for those who have been injured or suffer from PTSD, etc.
Anyway, before the woman left she said, “Gina, I have no idea why I came in here today, but it was as if God told me to pull in this parking lot and then I saw your sign and thought… this will be a good place to rest!”
“Rest?” I asked.
“Yes. There’s a homeless Veteran who was in Vietnam. He was a medic and saved many, but hundreds of men died in his arms. He’s been homeless for years, has cancer, and can’t go into buildings, so there are 4 families within our community who care for him each week. This week is my turn and if you would like you can come outside and meet him. He’s resting for a moment.”
We walked outside in the parking lot and here was the man sitting on a paint can, smoking a cigarette looking down at the ground. She introduced me and I said, “Thank you and God Bless you for your service.”
He slowly looked up and said, “Oh, my service to my country was a long time ago. I haven’t done anything in a long time.”
The moment I looked at his face my heart saw a man whose heart used to beat one way before he left for Vietnam and has never beat the same since he returned. And within the silence of his pain he’s no longer able to walk into a building for fear that the building may blow up, or memories arrive of those he wasn’t able to save. His cancer is not good and from his lack of words my heart was able to feel a tiny portion of his heart…
It also turned out that at one time the woman who now cares for the man used to be a concert pianist, and taught piano lessons, but is now on disability and doesn’t have a piano anymore. I smiled at her and said, “Well, maybe God will send us a piano and we’ll put it in the store and you can and give piano lessons again. She smiled and simply said, “How I would love that!” I then told her about John and how he is raising money to help those with PTSD, and she simply said, “God Bless him!”
This woman was one of 10 stories that were shared yesterday and since I’ve been at that store my head hasn’t been able to stop thinking of the people who God sends through the doors.
People ask me all the time why I believe in the Bible, and now that I have the store… even if God only allows me to have it for another hour, another day, month or years… What I’ve learned from this tiny store is I believe the stories that were written in the Bible are true… Just as I know this story I’m sharing with anyone who happens to read my tiny heart today is true, and I would like to share this… It doesn’t matter where you work, or what you do, what matters in this life, is the people who frequent our doors.
Today I’m blessed to get another day at the store, and I can’t wait to see who God sends in today, because there hasn’t been a person who hasn’t walked out of my door who hasn’t become a part of my heart!
The faith and love that spring from the hope stored up for you in heaven and about which you have already heard in the true message of the gospel… Colossians 1:5
ONWARD TO THE STORE!