There are two items (along with hard copies of Thursdays Thirst) I generally use as calling cards that I leave with people after a visit. One has a short devotion on one side and a few verses of a hymn on the other. The second is a worship folder from a recent service. Many times my visit will include the singing of the printed hymns. Both calling cards are written and printed well before any visits take place.
As I was visiting with a variety of different people yesterday, I was somewhat astonished as I realized that each friendly conversation was leading directly to the contents of the calling cards. In about half of the visits I heard the voice of disappointment and sadness … The very homes where I was prepared to sing, “Sometimes I feel discouraged and think my work’s in vain, but then the Holy Spirit revives my soul again.” (There is a Balm in Gilead) And the rest of the people were going through some sort of dark time – and the song planned for them was “Thy Word is a lamp unto my feet and a light unto my path.”
As I thought to myself, “this could not have been planned better,” I realized that it couldn’t … and then I was truly overwhelmed. Think of it: God in Christ Jesus had each of these people – and their current circumstances – in mind as he directed the writing of these calling cards! And then he sent me to them with his message in their precise time of need.
In theory (and in fact), the Christian life is simple – it’s in the application that we run into difficulties: “Humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that that he may exalt you at the proper time, casting all your cares on him, because he cares for you. The God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, will himself restore, establish, strengthen, and support you after you have suffered a little while.” (1 Peter 5.6-7, 10) That suffering can be discouraging and dark … but it is never unseen by God. And, whether we notice them or not, he is always leaving his calling cards with us throughout those disappointing times.
I like to joke with some of the people I visit that I leave these calling cards so that they will remember that I stopped by … for the day may be coming when their memory is going. However, the truth is that all of us already have a memory issue … as well as we know Psalm 23, how often do we forget that his “goodness and mercy follow us all the days of our lives”? (Psalm 23.6) It is for this reason that he leaves his calling cards with us every day.
I came away from my day yesterday a little more grateful … a little more appreciative … of how “he cares for me.” I think it just might change a bit of my attitude and behavior today. And I certainly am going to be very attentive to finding those calling cards he leaves behind as reminders of his gracious presence.