They Had Me at “Heavenly Father…”

I think I’m getting better at following the little “nudges” I feel.  I truly believe these nudges are from God – He’s found that He can’t be subtle with me.  God’s needed to deliver a swift kick from time to time when I’ve had trouble listening in the silence for His messages.  But His nudges have always guided me accurately.  Always. 

The first time I felt this nudge was in 1986.  I was a new volunteer with a Hospice organization and had just received a call from the director of volunteers.  “Don’t bother going to your client’s home today, Sandra.  We don’t think she’ll make it.”  Saddened at the thought, I agreed and hung up the phone.  Immediately this overwhelming “nudge” took hold of me.  Nothing was said verbally at all – no sound.  Just an insistent urge to get to my client’s home right away.  I was there in minutes and introduced myself to her husband, who answered the door.  He was quite grateful someone from Hospice was there and explained that his wife seemed to be in a lot of pain but was unable to swallow any medicine.  He showed me to her room and as I walked to her side, her eyes followed me intently.  I’d been told in the phone call that she was not conscious.  But I went to her, held her hand, and introduced myself.  She died within the next fifteen minutes, me holding her left hand and her husband holding her right, telling her how much he loved her and that it was okay for her to go.  I am convinced that his wife waited to die until someone could be there with him.  I’m really glad I listened to that nudge.  Then again, there was no ignoring it!

The last big nudge I had was working with a local cave.  As much as I loved the caverns and sharing the science and history with the guests to the area, I simply couldn’t do all the physical duties that tour guides were asked to do.  While I feel certain that my skills as an educator may benefit the caverns someday, I also realized that now was not the time.  So the same day I submitted my resignation there, I applied for a job with a local Christian organization.  I really had no idea exactly what sort of facility the job was located in, just that the requirements seemed to fit my abilities.  A big plus for me – no one would expect me to pick up sticks!

I had an initial interview last week and it went quite well.  Following the interview with the human resources director and an administrator, I was taken on a tour and given more information about the facility.  I was told that some applicants would be called back for a second interview and I really hoped I’d get a chance to meet with them again.

Well, tomorrow morning is my second interview!  I’m very excited as this position is incredibly varied and uses many of the skills I developed over the years teaching, giving professional development workshops, working with parents of students, designing materials to prepare my students for the state-mandated standardized testing, and creating materials to help my students with learning disabilities understand the content.  Additionally, I love the fact that my people skills would be welcome – hugs, smiles, conversations with guests – all are expected.  And I’d get paid?

I’m excited about this job for several reasons.  I’ve already mentioned the variety.  I’d also be expected to speak in public and represent the organization.  But most importantly, it sounds that any ideas I have would be welcomed enthusiastically!  If I stumble across something that might improve the lives of the people in their facility, I have no doubt they would embrace it.

Oh, there’s one more thing I really like about this organization:  the interview last week began with prayer.

Yep, they had me at “Heavenly Father…”

I wrote this a few years ago but never published it; I guess I was waiting to hear good news about my interview.  However, I was not offered the job and looking back, I’m grateful.  I think I was turned down because my recent financial history looked so shaky.  But I’d learned during the second interview that the pace of work became rather frenetic at the end of each week.  I know now that there is no way I would’ve been able to keep my obligation to them had I been hired.  I don’t work especially well under pressure.  Been there, done that.  Three jobs at one time to make ends meet – parochial school teacher, obituary writer on the weekends, and part-time waitress.  I don’t ever wish to go there again.  And as much as I would have tried, my spine could never have tolerated the hours necessary at the computer.

Yes, God really does answer prayer.  Not always in the manner in which we expect, but always in the way that’s best.



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