Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Bubbling Blessings

I've been waiting for my five pallets of soap (26,880 bars) to arrive, and I thought yesterday would be the day.  I prayed for a clear day, and even though it started out gray and dreary, the sun shone through.  Alas, though, no delivery came.

Yesterday afternoon the trucking company called and scheduled the delivery for "late morning or early afternoon."  I had a volunteer commitment to sort shoes at our Erie City Mission this morning and was concerned about not being available for the delivery.

And, once again, I woke to a wet and dreary day.  I prayed for good weather and good timing for the delivery, but I couldn't shake the possibility of a downpour so I packed up rain ponchos.  Was that a lack of faith?

The shoe sorting went great and yielded a crop of 50 shoeboxes for me to load into my car.  I drove home and just made it into the house when the truck driver called to tell me he was twenty minutes away.  Perfect timing.  Thank You, Lord.  I jumped back into the car and headed out again.  As I drove I called Pam and Terri, two other team members, to head over to help unload the soap.

When I arrived at the church the truck was just pulling in.  I made another quick call to Rose, another team member, to see if she wanted the empty shoeboxes I'd snagged that morning, and she agreed to come pick them up.

The truck driver jumped out of his truck, looked me in the eye, and said, "Do you have help?  This load is 5000 pounds."  I assured him I had reinforcements on the way and told him we'd done this before.  He looked skeptical as he manned the lift gate and dropped the first pallet.

It wasn't a good start (see picture above) as boxes tumbled off the first damaged pallet.  But I started hauling while the driver dropped the second pallet, and soon Terri arrived to lend her muscle.  The driver took pity on us and began to haul some boxes, too.  Rose showed up, and I ran to get the shoeboxes into her car, then ran back to haul soap again.

Somewhere between the second and third pallet, Pam drove in to join the brigade.  The rows in the storage container rose in straight lines.  First we stacked the cartons ten high, but as we realized we were running out of space we went even higher.  Please, Lord--don't let them fall.

The driver had all the pallets dropped and said, reluctantly, "I'm really sorry, but I have to leave."  I thanked him, told him what a blessing he was, and promised we'd pray for safe travels for him.  I signed the delivery paper work, and as he looked at my signature, he said, "Jim Schriefer?"  And I replied, "That's my husband.  Do you know him?"  Well, it turns out the driver and my husband were childhood neighbors.  Small world, eh?   He drove off with a wave and a beep, and we went back to work.

Just then another car drove up.  It was 'Jack'  He'd called while I was at the mission and asked if he could meet me with three bags of new Beanie Babies to donate.  We first met two years ago when he brought me his wife's stuffed animal collection shortly after she died from cancer.  You can read my blog post about our meeting by clicking here.

Near the first anniversary of his wife's death I'd happened to find the memorial card he'd given me, and I sent him a card to tell him I was thinking of him and praying for him.  I was excited to see him again today and told him he'd been in my prayers from time to time.  "Well," he said, "they must be working, because..."  he pulled a paper from his pocket and his face was wreathed in smiles as he showed me a picture of his new fiancee.  I called Pam and Terri over so we could celebrate and hear his whole story together.  What a joy it was to see how our "God of all comfort" has worked in his life.  I told him God has good plans for his life, and I hope someday he'll really accept God's greatest gift.

Soon the last box of soap was stacked and the empty pallets tucked beside the container.  We're hoping a "pallet fairy" will come in the night and take them away.

This container is SO full of blessings.  Now we just have to get 25,000 of these bars put into individual bags.  Help!

We closed the doors and attached the padlock.  Then Terri offered to treat us at Starbuck's.  We sat over sandwiches and talked about how beautifully God orchestrated this day.  It was cooler than yesterday and stayed dry--great weather for lifting and hauling.  Terri was working yesterday, so it was great to have her available today.  Having an accommodating truck driver with delivery timed after my morning commitments was amazing and having us all there to hear 'Jack' tell his story was a bonus.

I'm getting used to these blessings.

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