women talking on bench

I was visiting my daughter one week and since it was pretty warm, we decided to go shopping at an inside mall. We left early the next morning to beat the heat and the traffic. While waiting for the stores to open many people gathered around the indoor children’s playground. As I sat on a bench watching my grandson play, an elderly woman sat next to me. We exchanged pleasantries, and made observations about the children at play; their youth, energy, and how easily they made friends. Soon the conversation turned toward the woman’s own children. She expressed her dismay of how her grown sons were concerned about how she was living by herself. Her husband had recently passed on and she missed him very much. She felt her sons did not understand what she was going through. She wasn’t able to communicate to them her desire to stay independent. She did not want to live with her sons’ families. She did not want to leave her house. I listened to this woman tell her story, and I felt deep compassion for her. As the conversation came to its conclusion, I asked her if she would like me to pray with her and I held her hands. In the prayer, I asked God to be with her as she faced the changes in her life, and to help her sons understand the difficulties their mom was going through.  When we finished praying, she thanked me very much for listening and for the special prayer. She then excused herself, because the stores were opening and she had an item to return. That is when I noticed the small plastic bag on her lap. We both stood up and embraced each other. It was one of the most amazing encounters in my life.


“….do not worry about how you will defend yourselves or what you will say, for the Holy Spirit will teach you at that time what you should say” (Luke 12:11–12 NIV).

I have to say that I don’t remember everything I said to this woman, or exactly the words I spoke in that prayer, for it was the Holy Spirit talking through me. That is what we should all remember as we go through our daily lives. When we least expect it, an opportunity, a gift from God, will come our way.  What we do with that opportunity, is our gift to God. We don’t have to have eloquent words, all we need is the Word and the Holy Spirit to guide us.


Thank you Heavenly Father, for your son, Jesus Christ our Savior, and for the Holy Spirit that sustains us and guides us through all things. Use us to be bold proclaimers of the Gospel through our words and our actions. In Jesus’ name we pray, Amen.

Nancy Heredia
Pacific Southwest District

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