One of our parishioners wanted to share this story of how she was overwhelmed by the blessing of being used by God to answer someone else's prayers.
"As summer wound down, I decided to help my daughter go through her closet. Over the last several months, I accumulated a couple of bags of clothes and shoes to which we added more. As we continued to go through clothes, she decided she no longer needed her uniform items. My oldest daughter joined in and brought me her old uniform items as well. Clearly, I thought I was clothing 6 kids with uniforms from all of the items we found. Many of the uniform shirts were still in the plastic! Being the planner that I am, I clearly bought uniforms ahead and then forgot I bought ahead and bought more so I had an abundance of uniform items. Blue shirts, oxfords, skirts, jumpers, pants, etc. Catholic Central has a uniform exchange, so I intended to take the items to the school to help families there.
It was Friday morning, I carried all of the bags to the van. I intended to drop the uniform items at Catholic Central first, but as I loaded up the kids to do some school shopping I decided to go to St. Vincent DePaul first because it was closer to where I lived. As I was unloading the bags for donation, a woman who just pulled up in a car asked me if I happened to have any school clothes in there. I said, “You don’t happen to need uniform items, do you?” Her eyes got big and very enthusiastically, “YES, I DO!” I asked her what size. She was not sure, so I said, “Come with me.” She said, “OH, you are kidding me!?”
“Nope, come on.”
She followed me to my van and as I pulled things out of my uniform bag, she told me how her daughter had just called her frantic because she needed uniforms for her daughter (the woman’s grandchild) but was unable to afford them. The Grandmother continued to pull money from her pocket and say, “I was able to scrape together $26.00 to try to find something for my Granddaughter.” I asked her to give me a hug, which she did. As I continued to pull items we thought she could use out of my bag, she kept telling me how she was praying to God all the way over to the store. Once we got everything out that she felt she could use, she told me how she was good with a needle and thread and would fix anything that needed it. She now had an armload of uniform items which she began to carry to her car saying, “I am going to hide these in my car so I can surprise my daughter.” Just then, a friend came out and said, “She is in there freaking out because she can’t find any…..Oh my! Where did you get all of that!?” She explained that this “nice lady” had some uniforms she gave to me. The friend encouraged her to go in and show her daughter. Before we parted, the lady asked for another hug which I gladly gave her.
I walked away from that encounter on cloud 9. So happy that I could help someone with all of those uniforms I purchased. My overabundance allowed another person to save the $26.00 she had to scrape together for uniforms for her Granddaughter. I got to feel the overwhelming honor of being a vessel that allowed God to answer someone’s prayers. When I think of all the decisions made that brought the two of us together at that moment, I feel the presence of the Holy Spirit in what happened. I am reminded that Father asked us to think about the Our Father when we pray….”Give us this day, Our daily bread...” I pray that others will open themselves up and allow the Spirit in to move them to be in service of others. The awesomeness of the power of God and the Holy Spirit can be found in even the smallest of gestures. In that moment, I felt chosen and unworthy and loved more than words can express."