I knew she would be awake prepping for another day of online teaching. The high school where she has worked for several years had moved to an online format through the end of the year due to COVID. Her story is one of many educators across our country. I am thankful for she and all the other teachers that have sacrificed so much to continue some sort of learning opportunities for their students. On this particular day I was thankful for something else this new format had provided….
She was home.
My friend lives about a block away. I can see her back deck from my front porch. There are a gazillion things I love about our home. The proximity to some of the most kind, generous neighbors and friends is one of them. Today her physical presence was one I needed but did not anticipate enjoying when I sent my text, my prayer request hours before the sunrise last week.
It wasn’t long after I shared some disturbing news via text with Jodi that she sent me a response with beautiful words of encouragement, hope and perspective. I shed a few tears , sent a quick “thank you for being amazing” reply and prepped to hop on my exercise bike. I hoped that riding a few miles and sweating through an old T-shirt would relieve some of the stress I felt in my shoulders. As I was about the begin my ride – I heard my dog whimpering by the front door. When I looked down the hallway he turned, wagged his tail and then looked back again at the door as if to say, “A friend is here- you need to see her.”
My little dog – he was so right.
My friend had made a decision. She did not ask for permission or request a time when we could both be showered and prepped for the day to connect. She followed her gut that said, ” Go see Beth…. NOW.” And she did. She walked right on over and said these simple words…
“I just needed to see if you were OK.”
She hugged me and I cried real tears. We stood in the entry way of my home and talked for, at most, 15 minutes. She didn’t give any answers that fixed the problem….
But she gave her presence……
that brought real peace.
It was what I needed to move through my day. Her response to her NOW nudge enabled me to plow through my year end business to-do list as well as prepping for the Christmas celebration that was right around the corner. This isn’t the first time she has shared this gift with me. She has taught me the power of the pivot when that NOW nudge comes.
2020 has forced us all to change direction on a moments notice. Many of us have acquired a wealth of information and skills as a result of the constant need for learning. The reality of changing NOW has blown in like a cold north wind and does not seem to want to let up anytime soon. Jesus lived his life with a NOW mentality. When he was faced with the sick he would heal physically. He would then use that NOW moment to bring the most important healing – forgiveness of sins and the gift of eternal life. When he was gathering his team of 12 he commanded a NOW response. When he was discovered in the Garden of Gethsemane the night before he was crucified, he went willingly knowing it was NOW time. When the apostle Paul taught us about seeking Gods presence he instructs us to do so with freedom and confidence – which I translate as NOW.
I will leave 2020 with a new appreciation for NOW. I have learned that when that NOW nudge comes that God is telling me to move, immediately. What is your NOW nudge today? Has something been tugging at your heart? Is there a name you cannot get out of your mind? I pray this message can be the spark that starts your NOW movement. The 15 minutes you take to adjust your life could literally change the course of someone else’s. Put your phone down and go… NOW.
The gift of grace my friend shared as a result of her NOW nudge has made such a difference that it will be the theme of my 2021…
and for this I rejoice.