So early this morning, I was troubled by an email post from a lady in Albany, on full disability, that had been forced from her home into somewhere less affordable. I pictured the ongoing story of another friend with a similar problem... always searching for something she could afford where the utilities wouldn't kill her budget entirely. Well that was the case here too, this poor lady got a place (undoubtedly she's on Housing assistance) and is now having to pay 100% of her utilities. She's got a couple of whopper sized utility bills this month - as moving utility services from one address to another isn't cheap either - and was really struggling to just get through this month. She's 2 days away from no electricity and no phone.
After exhuasting all the "social services" in the entire community, sending letters from her doctor to the utility companies, and even trying to get a small loan, she posted to a community "cafe" email list asking for help in the form of advice on anything else to try.
I was put off by the replies.
"Get a second job... that's what most people do."
Did you even read what you just said, you idiot??
"Try going on disability, they give you money"
Did you even read the post in the first place?
"I pay taxes, where are all my hard-earned tax dollars going??"
Ok, now you are just a moron. Are you even TRYING to do anything to help?
I really appreciated the posts from people saying they would pray for her. I sent her an email too, except privately, away from the critical eyes of the community and told her I, too, would pray for some way for her to be blessed and for God to work through this situation. I knew she was a woman of faith, I'd heard her say it before. She was very gracious in her reply and I felt a sincere connection.
Sometime later in the evening, another woman, as disgusted as I was, sent in a new post asking why all the critics and why all the ranting about government services. Where was all the REAL people with the REAL help and the REAL resources? She said she knew how this lady felt, had been there, done that - and was a single mom just finishing college. She said she'd gladly pitch in $20, and challenged everyone else to do whatever they could. Then, she posted the paypal account of the lady in need (with her hesitant permission) and left it at that.
Ding! Lightbulb moment!
I had been trying to figure out how I could do something more than encourage her. I felt pulled. I knew our budget was a bit sketchy this month, and God certainly doesn't intend for me to hurt our family to fix everyone else's problems. I knew this morning when I prayed for her that God would do something. He listens. He answers. It's at that point that WE need to be listening... for that still, small voice is barely audible when we're doing all the talking!
So after seeing the PayPal suggestion, I pulled open my "business" account on Paypal, and ohmygoodness! I had money sitting in there from a long-forgotten transaction. Well, that certianly wasn't figured into our spending plan - it was a surprise! So, I surprised a very sweet, decent human in a community full of critics. God DOES provide, and He ALWAYS has a plan. He worked through this situation to help MY faith - and that of many others at the same time.
Some plan indeed!