“I’ve had a problem with the clinic,” I explained to the woman. “And I’m not here to get anyone in trouble,” I said. In fact, I wasn’t altogether certain how I had arrived in this particular woman’s office. She was in a different building, in a different location than the clinic I had visited, and I didn’t know her name or title or anything other than there had been a wide open door. One office worker had passed me on to another, then to another, and was there one other? I don’t know. I somehow landed in this woman’s office. With the kid’s drawing on the wall.
The woman listened.
And the tears came. But they weren’t the tears that I had cried in stress the day before. Nor did they come with the anger I had felt not too very long ago. The tears came to my eyes with the peace of God.
“The Lord put it on my heart to love and forgive and pay what I owe and let go,” I said, not knowing if the woman even believed in God. Nevertheless, I continued. “And when I walk away, I want for the women to see the love of Christ. That’s what matters to me.”
I looked at the kid’s drawing several times during our conversation, but I didn’t see anything other than the colors and the simple childish picture of whatever. Because that’s all it was to me. Whatever. It was just a picture. And I didn’t have my eyeglasses on.
“Please tell me what happened,” the woman told me, waiting for a detailed explanation.
I told her.
“They need to be corrected. Customer service is extremely important to me,” the woman told me. Okay, maybe these were not her exact words. But this was her point anyway.
“I fall short every day of my life,” I told her. “I have to repent, I have to go to God for forgiveness. I am not here to judge. I have done the exact same thing. The only difference now from how I used to be is that I realize when I have done wrong, and I know to go to God and also to the people I have hurt to ask for forgiveness.”
How did this happen? Me, the woman I was, who did not believe in God, who left a trail behind me of destruction thanks to my pride, and arrogance, and array of sins, how was I here? Not lambasting the people for what they had done, but instead humbling myself and wanting for them to see Christ? And not realizing in all this that maybe the woman in whose office I sat may have been seeing the light of Christ also?
I must have looked over at the picture a few more times. Slowly, and I am not sure when, pieces of the picture started to come together for me. I saw a word. Then another. But still, I focused on the woman who sat before me as she listened, as she spoke, as she tried to help me.
“I’m going to take care of this for you,” she told me. Then she detailed exactly what she would do. I was shocked, and humbled, and so thankful. She would go to extreme lengths, in my estimate anyway, to correct the situation. But I had not expected this. I had come with a mission from God – to love, to forgive, to pay what I owed, to walk away. Yes, to let go.
I am not sure when I finally saw the picture. I really don’t remember. I only know that at some point it all came together for me. The different words. The words weren’t in order. They weren’t in one long, or one short, sentence. They were scattered around the page. So given my focus on my conversation with the woman, and given my eyesight which has gone significantly downhill lately, and given I must not have had my eyeglasses on that I tend to use only for driving, it took me some time sitting on the office to finally get the point. To finally see the point of the drawing. To finally put it all together.
Hope. That was the first word I saw. And each time I looked back at the drawing, for some reason, that was the only word I seemed to keep seeing.
Until I put it all together.
And there it was. For by the time I got ready to leave the office, and actually asked the woman whom I had never met before, this woman in a high up position in a corporate environment, if I could give her a hug, I had gotten the picture. The whole picture. The drawing. The woman readily accepted and returned my hug. I mentioned the picture. She was proud of her daughter’s picture drawn a good long time ago. But I wonder whether she realized just how much that picture touched my heart. How easy it is to see a child’s picture as just another child’s picture. How easily we can overlook God’s gifts and the “random” places we discover them as we get so caught up in the busyness of the details of our lives. But then along comes a picture like the one I saw that day stuck proudly to the corporate office walls, a picture of hope….
Hope. Love. Peace. Faith. From God.
Isn’t that something? God would lead me to some random office in some random building at a different location than where I had had a big challenge, after a day or two of big stress over the whole situation, not just to a woman who could help me, but to a child’s picture that could remind me.
Everything good comes from the Lord. Hope. Love. Peace. Faith. They are not contingent on my circumstances. They are contingent on the Lord.
Out of the mouth of a child. Childlike faith. A simple child’s picture stuck proudly on the wall of a woman in a corporate office that I just happened to pass through.
A reminder to us all. Where do hope, love, peace, and faith come from?
From the Lord.
I can only hope when I walked away with a heart full of love and thanksgiving that the woman, and the other women someday, see the love of Christ. And I can only say for sure that I know I did. In a simple picture drawn by the hand of a child.
Then again, truly it was the hand of the Lord. Wasn’t it?
“And they were bringing children to him that he might touch them, and the disciples rebuked them. But when Jesus saw it, he was indignant and said to them, “Let the children come to me; do not hinder them, for to such belongs the kingdom of God. Truly, I say to you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God like a child shall not enter it.” And he took them in his arms and blessed them, laying his hands on them.” mark 10:13-16 ESV underlining and bold added for effect