Chandra sighed as she hung up the phone. This was the fourth creditor who had called this week. She wanted to pay them all but the accident had changed everything.
She could not work so there was no money coming in and her welfare checks just did not seem to spread far enough. Sometimes she didn’t even have money to buy food for her daughter. Yesterday little Shayla looked up at her and asked, “Mommy, do we get to eat today?” Chandra started to cry which made Shayla cry as well.
Chandra looked through her mail. All bills. Sighing, she tossed them back to the table. They probably wouldn’t have that too long. Her landlord would probably have them kicked out in a week for not paying the rent. She gazed at the sleeping girl. She was so thin. Too thin for a girl her age. Choking back a sob, she buried her head in her hands. She knew her depression had returned with a vengeance but there was no money for medicine. Suddenly the room went black and she realized the unpaid electric bill had caught up with her. The sobs escaped her. “God, where are you?! I went faithfully to church, prayed, even did personal devotions but lately…. Lately I just can’t hear you! Where are you? I feel like I am in a deep dark pit and I can’t find my way out!”
The voice she heard was not God. Instead, it was many voices from her past. “You stupid kid! Why did you do that?!!!” “I should have aborted you when I had the chance.” “You’re pregnant?!! How can you be so stupid?!!!” “Don’t talk to that girl. My mommy said she’s from the wrong side of the tracks.” “You’re such a loser!” “You’ll never amount to a hill of beans.” “We don’t want Chandra on our team! You take her!” “Well, we don’t want her either!” “I hate you! Why did you have to ruin my life?” The blackness and emptiness threatened to consume her.
Chandra sobbed harder and harder as she kept reliving each voice. She looked over at the knife on her table. How easy it would be to slit her wrists. No one would find her until it was too late and …..she looked at her daughter. She couldn’t leave her to live her own demons. “It’s for the best, Chandra. Just take a pillow and hold it on her face until she is gone. It will be so easy! You need to do this. The world doesn’t need more disgusting filth to deal with. Just get the pillow.” Chandra’s gaze landed on her Bible on her shelf. “It’s not a sin if you are saving her. Saving her from a life of pain and sorrow. Get the pillow.”
Chandra grabbed a pillow and crept toward her daughter. “Soon you will be with your daughter in paradise. That would be a lot better than here where you could not provide for your own child.” Chandra placed the pillow on her daughter’s face. As she started to apply pressure, tears cascaded down her cheeks. A knock at the door jolted her upward and she stood there trying to control her panting breaths. Another knock followed. She put the pillow down and walked to the door. In the hallway stood a group of children. A woman and a man stood with them. “Yes, can I help you?”
The woman spoke first, “I’m sorry. We don’t mean to intrude but we felt like God was leading us to you.” At Chandra’s confused look, the woman continued. “Pastor Jim, here,” the man smiled. The woman pressed on, “Well, he’s a good preacher man, he is! And one day the Lord laid it on his heart to speak to the congregation about our neighborhood being a mission field and he challenged us to do something. His words hit square with our little ones and Tomas, here, “she pointed, “he came up with the idea of our congregation going together and making a difference for one person. We called it “Light Your World!” and every Sunday for two months we put our money into a special offering. The kids had bake sales and the youth had a car wash. The ladies even had a soup night. We got you all these groceries and, can we come in? They’re getting mighty heavy!”
Chandra’s mouth had fallen open. She looked down to see each child was holding a grocery bag, “These are for me?” Her daughter had awoke from her sleep and clung to her legs.
“God told us to bring them to you, “a little girl offered. We didn’t know who was getting this until tonight when we asked God to lead us to the one he wanted this to go to.”
Chandra’s hand gravitated to her mouth as she recognized the miracle taking place in front of her eyes and she stepped back to allow them in. She soon had a couple dozen bags full of groceries sitting around her kitchen. Still in shocked, she felt a tug and looked down at Tomas. He smiled and said, “God asked me to deliver a message. He said, ‘Fear thou not; for I am with thee: be not dismayed; for I am thy God: I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness.’ .”
Chandra smiled through her tears of joy and whispered, “Thank you, Tomas.”
“There is more, ” The pastor stepped forward, “In this box is a collection of both cash and gift cards for groceries as well as other things you may need. I believe the money will get you through a couple of months until hopefully you can get back on your feet. I wouldn’t let anyone know you have this. Put it in a safe place. It holds several thousand dollars”
Chandra could no longer see for the tears overflowing from her eyes. “Thank you!”
The whole group exited the apartment each shouting, “God bless!”
Chandra opened a card laying on top. It explained about the whole Light Your World project and how it was inspired from a song they heard on a Christian radio station.
“Thank you, God! You did hear me even if I couldn’t hear You!”
If you would like to listen to the song referenced, click on the you-tube below.