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Timely Words
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Proverbs 15:23: “A man has joy by the answer of his mouth, And a word spoken in due season, how good it is!”

One of the most important things I ever wrote was three now-forgotten sentences on the back of a newly-purchased bookmark bearing Annie Johnson Flint’s poem, “What God Hath Promised.”
“Agnes,” a Labor and Delivery nurse at one of the hospitals I visited daily on my rounds for a University research project, seemed not her usual, jolly self.

“Are you okay?” I asked as we gowned up, she for her job and me for my visits on the maternity ward.
 “Pray for me,” she said gruffly and left the room.
How would she know what I prayed or even if I prayed? “I’ll pray for you,” seemed such an easy cliché. What were her hopes, her expectations inherent in her request? A real prayer? Or a “God bless Agnes” when I tucked into bed that night?

Stuffed It in Her Purse

Searching my bag for something to write on, even as I asked God to help me pray wisely, I found the bookmark and wrote my brief prayer on it. When Agnes came on lunch break, I handed it to her. She grunted, stuffed it in her purse and left.

For three days God laid Agnes heavily on my heart. I prayed often. The fourth day she came looking for me.

“I forgot about your note until 10 o’clock that night. When I read it, I started to laugh.”

“Oh, no,” I thought, “I’ve offended her.”

“Then I read it again and started to cry. I kept reading it and laughing, and then crying until I fell asleep for the first good night’s sleep in months. You see,” she said softly, “I’ve become an alcoholic. My kids had ganged up on me for an intervention the night before I saw you in the locker room. I was so hurt and angry that on the morning I saw you, I was planning to commit suicide when I got home that night. Your little prayer and that beautiful poem stopped me.”

She also explained that the reason she hadn’t been at work the past three days was because she’d been getting help for her problem.

Sometimes God asks us to do something out of the ordinary. We may not know why other than we’ve felt impressed to do so. There is no more awesome discovery than that God has allowed us to partner with him in blessing someone else.

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By Lois Pecce. Copyright © 2013 by GraceNotes. All rights reserved. Use of this material is subject to usage guidelines. Scripture taken from the NEW KING JAMES VERSION © 1982.

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