“I have a bunch of other stuff for you besides Bibles to donate,” Gary Santos from the Charleston Port & Seafarers’ Society told me as he helped me load up my car with hundreds of Bibles and a bunch of other “stuff” for Walk by Faith Ministry’s Sweet Dreams Project: helping the homeless dream and sleep.
“Alright,” I replied, grateful for all the donations that have been pouring in over the past few months.
Gary had explained that the Bibles, along with the clothes and other “stuff” – including toiletries that are always needed for homeless people – had come off of cruise ships with which he works.
Bibles. Clothes. Toiletries. A suitcase. And what? A stroller? Yes, a stroller. A baby stroller. But what would I possibly need with a baby stroller? I have no kids. I have never seen a stroller donated to the clothes closet at the soup kitchen where I minister most Wednesdays. And, given how much other stuff I load up my car with regularly to receive or to distribute, why did I need yet another item – especially one without an intended purpose?
Nevertheless, I loaded up the donations and off I drove – two hours to get home. All that distance for some wonderful donations – including a stroller with no purpose.
Little did I know what God had in mind. In fact, I so didn’t know what He planned to do that I simply dumped the stroller in my living room and proceeded to forget about it. For weeks, over a month in fact I believe, the stroller sat in my living room as the other donations continued to come in through my front door – and out again to be distributed to those in need.
Then, for some odd reason that I could not explain, one Wednesday I felt it was time to take the stroller with the sleeping bags, Bibles, and clothes I planned to bring to the soup kitchen one Wednesday. So off I went with the stroller. When I arrived at the church where the soup kitchen is, I asked a man who offered to help me to please bring in a bunch of the clothes – and the stroller.
I had no intention to distribute the stroller, nor need that I could see, so I handed it off along with the clothes to the Clothes Closet for their ongoing distribution. As far as I was concerned, the stroller was no longer in my possession – and no longer my responsibility.
So, I simply proceeded to forget about it. Well, as far as I could see, I would forget about it. And, that’s exactly what I did – for not quite as long as I expected.
For within 24 hours, a homeless woman I had met called me to tell me her sister had been in tears that morning over having to carry her four year old son all over the city because shelters do not allow people to stay there during the day. Her child could walk, but would become tired. She was too small too carry him for long periods of time. She was obviously exhausted, the two woman had prayed from what I had understood, and the woman called to say this.
“Lara, you said I could call you if I ever had a need. Is there any chance you would have access to a stroller?”
Not only did I have access to a stroller, but it turned out the woman was calling me from the library – the building directly next door to where I had dropped off the stroller – but 45 minutes from where I lived. So instead of my needing to drive all the way back to give her the stroller, I simply told her to walk to the church. I talked to the office manager at the church, a friend of mine, and asked her to give the stroller to the woman.
God’s miracles come in all sorts of ways, shapes, and sizes, with all kinds of details, stories, and more, but there is one thing that is always for certain about God’s miracles. They are His. They are by Him, through Him, and for His glory.
This story of the miracle stroller, just like all His miracles, is more than a story about a woman who needed a stroller and got one. To me, it is a story of the sovereignty of God.
5“Trust in the Lord with all your heart, And lean not on your own understanding;6 In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He shall direct your paths.” Proverbs 3:5-6
14 “But the natural man does not receive the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; nor can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned. 15 But he who is spiritual judges all things, yet he himself is rightly judged by no one. 16 For “who has known the mind of the Lord that he may instruct Him?” But we have the mind of Christ.” 1 Corinthians 2: 14-16
I ENCOURAGE YOU to open your heart and your eyes by the Holy Spirit to see the beauty of God’s handiwork, the magnificence of His sovereignty, the glory of His reign. Despite the clouds that sometimes assemble overhead, look past the clouds to His Son – the Savior of the world. And take delight in the everyday miracles, His craftsmanship, whether as seemingly insignificant as a stroller or as big as the parting of the clouds for a glimpse into God’s everlasting Kingdom.