You know the line. You know the scene: she goes into the boutique to buy some clothes with a pocket full of cash and the snobby women would not wait on her?
At one time, a long time ago, I was fat—not a little, not over weigh, fat, morbidly obese. Nothing fit me. I either made dresses or had them made. I was miserable and I am sure it showed. I was shopping with a friend—well she was shopping I was just along for the ride. She was wealthy—I was not.
We went into a lingerie boutique. Personally I had never been in a boutique quite like this—they met her with champagne—seated her on a lovely settee, asked what she was looking for and brought a variety of items.
My friend needed a fancy negligee for her daughter’s wedding night. She wanted g-strings for a shower. She was looking for panty sets to take on a honey moon. I was looking at the negligees when I was asked not to touch things. It was not loud enough for anyone to hear, not to embarrass me just enough to let me know I did not belong. I picked up a g-string-- $125. That was more than my electric bill when I used the air conditioning…I was WAY out of my league. She told me that there was NOTHING in this store that would fit me. Duh. I was so fat there was nothing in ANY store that was going to fit me. I did not touch anything else but wandered around just looking and observing.
My friend picked out a negligee. $7K the robe was around $10K. She picked up a half dozen g-strings. She also added a bra for the wedding dress, a couple of cute little bra sets. Probably $25K total. I stayed by the door just watching. We had not spoken while we were in the store. I was so ashamed because I did not belong and concerned my presence was embarrassing her. I put my hand on the door to leave and she turned to me, “Just a minute Sally.”
I cringed. Now they knew I was with her and the lady who had never moved more than a foot from me stepped away. I was totally humiliated and in the midst of my own despair I almost missed what happened. When everything was rung in, when everything was wrapped in tissue, when everything was placed in bags and they were ready for her check (this was WAY before the movie) she said, “This is my friend. You gave me champagne and offered her nothing. You seated me—you followed her. You waited on me—you told her she was not good enough for anything in your store. Since she is not good enough for this store this store is not good enough for me to spend this money.” She turned and headed towards me and the door.
I was so shocked I could not function. She had to put her arm around me to get the door open and she gently guided me out. I burst into tears. I told her to go back and get her lovely things. I apologized for embarrassing her. I blubbered.
She hushed me. She let me know how important I was to her. She knew the shop owner and was going to call. She was livid. We went to another shop—arm in arm. We laughed. We shopped. We went to lunch….
I have thought a lot about that day—the rejection replaced by acceptance. The shame released though kind words. The self-hatred destroyed by loving considerations. The rigid fear of what people thought about me shattered in the realization that a stranger’s opinion is not my guiding factor. The self-centered introspection replaced by a heart that looks for others who are hurting.
When you are out and about are you self-absorbed or observant—looking for people who need prayer? When someone talks to you do you listen to what is not being said or do you filter what you hear through stereo-types and prejudices?
What is intercession to you? Just a prayer here and there when it is convenient or makes you look good? Or, are you ever watching what God is showing you? Listening to that whisper? The gifts are not for your personal entertainment. Neither are they to make you look good in front of a crowd. The gifts are to convince the unbelievers, to encourage those who need it and help the hurting or confused. They are to edify, correct and promote growth. The gifts are also powerful weapons of intercession.
The Parable of the Barren Fig Tree
6 He also spoke this parable: “A certain man had a fig tree planted in his vineyard, and he came seeking fruit on it and found none. 7 Then he said to the keeper of his vineyard, ‘Look, for three years I have come seeking fruit on this fig tree and find none. Cut it down; why does it use up the ground?’8 But he answered and said to him, ‘Sir, let it alone this year also, until I dig around it and fertilize it. 9 And if it bears fruit, well. But if not, after that you can cut it down.’”
Be alert in the market place.
Be aware of those around you. Listen to those who talk to you.
Pray and keep the intercession lines open.
Don’t let any “one” be lost because there was no intercessor to dig around its roots, fertilize it, water it…..We are looking for fruit here.