“My heart dropped as I scanned my prayer journal. Days of unanswered prayers spun out before me. Each morning, I’d poured out my needs and worries yet never felt a sense of peace or heard the Lord’s loving whispers. What am I doing wrong, Lord?
“Later while I was running errands, I noticed a man rummaging through the trash outside a local deli. I stopped in my tracks, feeling powerfully compelled to go up to him. I hesitated because I never spoke to strangers, but suddenly I heard God whisper one word in my heart: Love. I took a deep breath and nervously approached the man. ‘Excuse me,’ I said. ‘Are you hungry? Can I buy you lunch?’
“The man hesitantly nodded and followed me into the deli. Smiling reassuringly, I bought us both a cup of soup and a sandwich and we sat at a small table. As he ate, he told me his name was Joe and that he’d lost his job and his apartment last year and was now living on the streets. We talked for an hour, and before I left, I gave him cash and the address for a shelter. By the time we parted, his dull eyes shone with hope and my heart soared.
“The next morning, as I wrote in my journal about my encounter with Joe, I felt the most incredible sense of divine peace and joy. As I scanned back through each page, it dawned on me that opening my heart in love to God and to others helped me see how He had been answering all my prayers, one by one—in ways I’d never expected.”
—Erika Barber, 45, McKinney, TX