When Failure is not a Fail

Courtesy: contactglenda.com/

Courtesy: contactglenda.com/

Sunday

Gail: “God I was so inspired in today’s church service to be used by you! I don’t know if I’ll be any good at but I’m willing to give it a go. See if I can “be Jesus” to others. So I’ll try this week, see how I go. I’m a little scared I’ll fail and shame you, but maybe I’ll be able to do some good?”

Monday

Gail: “I felt like a failure today God. Not a great start. I should have done better when I visited Ann in hospital today. I didn’t know what to say so I just rambled on about the latest episode of Survivor and the customer with a funny hat that I served today. I should have asked about her illness but listening to operation stuff makes me feel queasy so I just avoided it. I felt so bad at not being good at ‘hospital ministry’ that I left after just ten minutes and totally forgot to pray with Ann. Maybe that $4 I spent on parking should have gone into the missions offering instead.”

Ann: “Thank you so much God, for sending Gail to visit today. I started watching Survivor yesterday but a doctor came and I didn’t see the end of the episode. It was like a gift to hear how it ended. I am so grateful she didn’t stay long. Visitors are nice, but tiring. I hate it when they all just want me to rattle off the latest from the doctors, it takes so much energy. It was almost like a vacation, hearing about life outside these four walls, and I forgot my worries and woes in those few minutes. And she didn’t pray either, which after Barry this morning was such a relief. Barry prayed for me for the longest forty-five minutes. His hand left a bruise on my arm and his words a bruise on my morale. God, Gail was such a great visitor; please can you send her again.”

Tuesday

Gail: “I don’t think I’m much use to you God. I don’t know how pastors and counsellors do it. Holly was telling me about her family over lunch today and suddenly she burst into tears. I didn’t know what to say. I mean, I don’t know much about dysfunctional families or counselling and I felt so inadequate to say anything. I’m afraid I wasn’t very helpful because all I could think to do was give her a clean tissue from my bag and just sit quietly while she cried. I didn’t even have any advice to give her. I’m sorry I failed you again God.”

Holly: “God I can’t believe I burst into tears at lunch today! I was sooo embarrassed! Right there in the middle of the café! Gail was amazing though. She handed me a tissue, which I sooo needed and sat there quietly. Thankfully she didn’t offer me any advice because I only told her part of the story, as you know it’s sooo much more complicated than that! Gail was such a gift from you today, just listening and being with me, not telling me I’m right or wrong or giving me unwanted counsel. I’ve had enough people telling me how to fix my family with no understanding of the real issues! Gail’s such an amazing listener and just who I needed today! Thanks God.”

Wednesday

Gail: “I talk to customers all day at work God. You’d think I’d be able to share Christ with one of them now and then. I feel like such a failure when it comes to sharing my faith at work. I think I may have missed an opportunity today Lord. The pastor talks about seizing opportunities to be Christ and share Christ but I’m not really sure what they look like. I mean, there was this lady Jill who phoned up today and her husband had a massive heart attack so he can’t work. As a sole trader this means that no money is coming into their business or home and they can’t pay their bill. The girl in the contact centre wanted to cut their electricity off but passed it onto me as she didn’t have the authority. I felt sorry for Jill so I waived the bill. Isn’t this customer the type of person I should be sharing Jesus with, somehow? Yet I don’t know what to say. I think she really needs you in her life right now but I didn’t say anything. I feel like such a bad Christian. I hope I didn’t let you down too badly today God.”

Jill: “God I can’t thank you enough for that gift today. I was expecting the electricity company to be as mean as the rest. You know how difficult it has been financially and emotionally since Steve’s heart attack. After everyone else who’s been nasty about late bills I think I would have fallen apart if the electricity people had been unkind too. I can’t remember the name of the lady you they put me through to but when she told me my bill was waived it was the biggest relief. From what the first girl said I thought the electricity was going to be cut until I could pay it. So thank you God. Thank you so much for putting me onto someone who cared, and helped. Bless her please God.”

Thursday

Gail: “You’d think by now I would know how to be Jesus to someone in a crisis God, but no, I failed you again. Lisa has just broken up with her boyfriend and instead of sending her uplifting Bible verses and Godly wisdom all I could think of was funny jokes to send. So I sent them, all through the day. Some of the jokes were pretty corny I have to admit but once again I didn’t really know what to say or do. I mean, how do you help someone through a breakup? I don’t know. I guess I’m not good at being used by you or useful to you. With all this failure I think I’d better stop “helping” because I think it’s only causing you to look bad.”

Lisa: “It’s been so hard God, not having Danny’s text messages to brighten my day. Since the breakup that’s been one of those little things that I’ve missed the most. Work’s not busy enough to distract my mind from my sorrows so the last few days have been so hard. I was so worried about getting through today when I left home this morning. Then I get these corny joke texts all day from Gail. Some were so bad I even laughed! It was so exactly what I needed it just had to be a gift from you, so thank you.”

Friday

Gail: “Should I even try to be used by you today God? I feel like all my opportunities to be used by you have been total failures. I don’t think I’ve helped even one person this week and I’ve been trying so hard. I’m so not like Jesus. Sigh. Sorry God, I didn’t realise I would fail so badly. I’ll stop now.”

Saturday

Gail: “Thank you for the gift you gave me today! Ann called me and asked if I wanted to visit. I went and felt just as uncomfortable as last time. Hospitals give me the creeps! But as I left she said thank you so much for visiting, I really made her day! I was so surprised! I didn’t think I’d helped at all! And then she gave me a bunch of flowers! You know how much I love flowers and how rarely I get them. I know it was probably a re-gift, her room is so full of them but’s I still love them and I know she’s got lots of medical bills right now.  I felt like I’d made a difference in her day. It was so nice. Maybe I can be Jesus to others and show them your love. Maybe I’ll try again. Thanks God! I really needed that encouragement. I didn’t fail. I will definitely try again. Who are we going to love tomorrow God?”

Ann: “God, you know how we’ve been talking about how I can be used by you, even from this hospital bed? Well, I know you suggested I give Gail some of my flowers, but I don’t know if that was a good idea or not. She got this strange look on her face. Was she offended they were a re-gift? I really appreciate her visits and feel like they are a gift from you. I really want to be used by you but felt like I failed today. I want to share Christ’s love with others but after today’s failure I’m just not sure…”

Do you identify with this story? Have you ever felt like you’re were failing only to find out later that your actions were the gift someone else was needing? Please share your stories in the comments below and encourage us all.

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