Tuesday, November 15, 2011

An Appointment With Destiny: Andrew

As I made my way from the parking lot into the Ross store this afternoon, I heard singing & guitar strumming - - one solitary voice that belonged to someone who was, at that time, obscured by the posts in front of the store.  As he came into view, I confess I readied & steadied myself for what would surely be begging.  I needn't have bothered.  He never looked up; and just kept strumming & singing.  I went about my business.

For the better part of 30 minutes I made my way through the store.  I hadn't intended on stopping at Ross at all this afternoon, but I made a last minute decision to drop in to see if I could find burgundy tree ornaments.  They didn't have any.  Drats.  But I did find new turkey prongs, so the stop wasn't a total waste of my time.  I made my way through the check out, then out of the store.

The young guitarist was still sitting on the cold ground with his guitar; quiet now.  Out of the corner of my eye (since I was trying my level best NOT to make eye contact with him, lest he beg) it looked like he was trying to warm himself.  I continued to my car, giving little thought to the guitarist.

Then I felt something ... A twinge?  A touch? A query?  I knew at once the Lord was nudging me and, though He rarely speaks to me in sentences, He does leave distinct impressions.  I interpreted Him to impress upon me:  Would it hurt you to ask the young man about his music? 

Odd question, but I wasted no time in turning around and making my way to the boy.

Hi there ... I couldn't help but hear your beautiful voice as I arrived a bit ago.  Tell me about your music.  I smiled at him then, and was greeted in return by his own large, warm smile.  I noticed at once how handsome he was in spite of being poorly clothed and under-dressed for today's cold weather.  His wavy light brown hair hung in wisps across his forehead.  He made me think of my oldest grandson.

With obvious pride he said:  I write all my own music.  What would you like to know?  Did you hear a song you liked?

Actually, I thought I heard you singing something with a Christian lyric.  Whatever it was, it was lovely.

He looked disappointed - - not for himself, but for me.  He said    I don't really know any Christian songs.

Something about this handsome young man tugged at my heart.  I couldn't begin to explain to you now why I stood there having this exchange with him. 

As I formed my next question I could see how cold were his hands.  He kept pulling them into his jacket sleeves - - a jacket far too small & lightweight to keep the damp from penetrating his bones.  He wasn't wearing socks, and his shoes were well worn tennis shoes.

I offered:  I imagine your parents are very proud of you; of how accomplished is your voice & guitar playing?

With little hesitation my new friend replied:  I don't mean to be disrespectful or crude, m'am, but my parents are pretty krappy (he used a more descriptive term).  They don't much care what I do or where I am.

Oh, I see.  So are you in school?

No ... but I am working on my G.E.D.  I'm working really hard at it too.

So how old are you?

16.  I'm just 16.

I then noticed that people had dropped change, or a dollar or two into his guitar case.  I put some money there myself as I asked him his name.


Andrew, before I leave, may I pray for you?  It seemed such a meager gesture, but I felt prompted to proceed.

I'd like that, came his immediate response.

I stooped to the ground where he was sitting and wrapped my right arm around him.  I bowed my head and began ...

Father, thank you for Andrew.  Thank you for gifting him with such an amazing voice, and such a heart for song.  We know You are all about music, and that the entire universe sings of your glory, so I ask that you reveal to Andrew how great a gift You've given him because of Your love for him, and because of the purpose you have for his life.  I ask that You protect & guide him, delivering him with Your salvation.  Fill him with great joy & a sense of belonging that You alone give.  Call him to Yourself that he would understand how valuable and loved he is.  Make a way for him where there seems to be no way. 

I ask, too, Father that you touch Andrew's mother & father.  Draw them to Yourself and save them.  Give them a sense of their value, and their son's.  Heal the broken places in this family.

Thank you for Your goodness & love.  Keep Andrew in your sights & care.

In Jesus name I ask this.  Amen

Throughout the prayer people came & went dropping change into Andrew's guitar case.  One woman came & remained, standing in silent prayer herself.

As I stood to leave, my new young friend looked up at me and said:  Thank you.  That means more to me than you can know.

I could no longer speak for the lump in my throat.  I simply nodded, waved and walked away; but ... oh, how I wanted to take that boy home!

An unintended stop.  A nudge.  An appointment with destiny.  I'm having trouble keeping it together.

Andrew.  It derives from Greek and means "man, warrior".  Somehow I knew that.

Photo:  Google Stock


Denise said...

Thank you for sharing your heart, and faith with dear Andrew. My prayers will be with this young man. Bless you my friend, as you bless.

Karen said...

I have a lump in my throat as well...and tears in my eyes...God bless you for responding to the nudge....

Grace on the Narrow Path said...

God bless you. Wait HE already has.
Never know if this young man was sent from Heaven ... maybe a angel that took human form.
Or just maybe a young man needing a loving person to pray for him.
Thank you.

Beth E. said...

I just love God's divine appointments! Praying for Andrew, and praising God for placing you at the right place and right time.


Molly Alexander said...

Such a moving story. Working with foster families and the Youth, I am always surprised at what these young people have to live through - more heartache than most of us have seen in our lifetimes. Thank you for sharing your beautiful heart with Andrew. God was tugging at you, but I am confident that He tugged at Andrew's heart as well.

manthano said...

Thanks for not taking the easy route. You know.
Throw him a dollar and go on. We all need more
of that compassion. Thanks.

Sonja said...

Luther is right in his comment above. It is so easy to avert our eyes. I am so glad you obeyed god's prompting, and Andrew will go into my prayer list as I think of him. I know you will be driving past that ross again, I sure would.
Your kneeling prayer with Daniel convicted my own heart.

Thoughts for the day said...

wonderful post, I wonder if you went back in a day or two, could you find him and perhaps give him socks and a coat and a warm bowl of soup? even gloves? just an idea.

Loren said...

with tears in my eyes, Please know I am praying for andrew with you. Bless you Kathleen. For your obedience. Your example. and your precious heart for the Lord and HIS People!

Love you

a woman who is said...

Wow...I have a great big lump in my throat. Prayers are going up for dear Andrew. May he find his way to becoming the complete man warrior that God intended for him to be. As I have been praying Isaiah 55 for my own son this week, I will include Andrew.

May we all listen to those still small promptings of the Spirit. I am so glad you did, and shared it with us to bring us courage to do the will of the Father...everyday!

too Blessed to Stress said...

Beautiful reminder to be sensitive to God's nudging and obedient to follow through with what he asks of us.

Prayers going up for Andrew.

~ Emily N. from "too Blessed to Stress"

elaine @ peace for the journey said...

You rock, Sassy Granny, with the love of Jesus! Just a ball of tears over here. Thank you for extending the heart of heaven to Andrew.

Good kingdom seed, sister. Very good kingdom seed.

I love you.


Just a little something from Judy said...

This is THE BEST story! This is what our Christian journey is all about. Vessels that God uses to share His Amazing Love with a hurting and broken world. The gentle nudgings, the second thoughts we have...all part of God's leading and directing in the affairs of our lives. I am going to be praying for Andrew, and I love that you took the time to do that yourself. This post blessed me in such a real special way. Keep pressing on my friend! Only Heaven knows how the details of it all will work out.

Debbie said...

Oh this whole post moved me to tears. I LOVE that you listened to the prompting of the Holy Spirit and prayed for this young man. No mistake at all you decided to stop at Ross. I will pray for Andrew too. This just soo blessed me, I am glad I stopped by!

NanaNor's said...

This again reminds me of how the Lord uses His children as ministering angels to others. You, I know, were an angel in Andrew's life; you may not understand fully until we are in glory but I know that the Lord used you for this young man.
Hugs, Noreen

Peggy said...

Amdrew was blessed that you came across his path. You never know if your kind words and prayers might lead help lead him to know Christ. I'm reminded I never should be too busy to stop.

Cheryl Barker said...

What a touching story, Kathleen. We need to truly see the people around us, don't we? I'm sure your kind touch and Spirit-led prayer will make an eternal difference in Andrew's life.

myletterstoemily said...

what a treasure you are! i can't imagine
how your generosity of SPirit must have
warmed his young heart.

Saleslady371 said...

I'm so glad you wrote about this, Kathleen. For one, it encourages all of us to do the same, to be salt & light in the world and open our eyes to the needs around us. I love the way you share your struggle to obey; how we all relate! Secondly, I'm thrilled to have had this time of prayer with you and all the others who commented. Imagine those prayers for Andrew. Wasn't it the apostle, Andrew, who followed Jesus and gathered his friends to the Lord?

rcubes said...

Glad that you didn't miss that "nudging" from the Good Hands Who loves to save all.

That seems to be the norm where I work, most of them don't know the real meaning of "love". That even a simple gesture, even just a smile and acceptance would mean everything to them. I pray that he will succeed and truly know the One Who always loves him for who he is.

I assume this testimony is also on top of your "Thanksgiving list?" God bless you sister and thank you...for who you are.

faith hope love ღ said...

love your post! thanks for sharing...loves soraya

Maryann said...

Reading this makes me realize how desensitized I am to the needs of others, would I have stopped? I am not sure. So glad that you did, sounds like a divine appointment. Praying for Andrew and praying that I would be more sensitive to the Lords leading. Thanks for sharing this

Debbie said...

Oh my! Aren't you so glad you obeyed that still small voice of the HS within you? I think that was a divine appointment.

Blessings and love,

Rebecca said...

I'll keep my eyes open for "Andrews" today, Kathleen. I think they're all around us. Thanks for the reminder!

Some of us plant....some of us water... Lord of the Harvest, send more laborers into the fields!

faith hope love ღ said...

i love your post! thanks for sharing... God bless you loves soraya

Andrea said...

Tears tumble as I think about Andrew. Seeing through your words his worth and beauty. Oh Father, I agree in prayer with my friend for Andrew's salvation, safety, and purpose. Father please do a radical work in this young mans heart and life and fill him to overflowing with your presence as you transform his life and use him in ways none of us could possibly comprehend.
In Jesus name,

Thank you for sharing and giving each of us the opportunity to pray for Andrew. Andrew is my middle son's middle name. I will NOT forget to storm the heavens in prayer on his behalf!

Big hugs, lots of love, and prayers,

Catherine said...

This is an uplifting story yet very , very sad. I pray that the Lord will guide this young boy on his journey through life. blessings, Catherine

Gwendolyn said...

Loved this story Kathleen. Praying with people right on the spot is one of my favorite joys and by His spirit, softens hearts. You know how tender they are toward Him by their response. Well written!