On Sunday, as I was walking around the house making beds and tidying up, a friend of mine crossed my mind. At first, I ignored it. I have a tendency to push those thoughts off. Not now. Maybe later. 

“I should get ahold of her soon and see how she’s doing. Not today, but soon,” I thought.

And then a little while later, she crossed my mind again.

I decided instead of waiting, I should shoot her a text. A quick hello just to check in and let her know I was thinking of her.

“Hi. I have been thinking of you a lot lately and wanted to check in. I miss you. How are you doing?”

It took a few seconds to type and hit send.

Her response was not the usual, things are greatthanks for checking in. Instead, I discovered she had been sick since Wednesday and was on her way to urgent care.

At that moment, I was reminded of the sweet nudge of God. I was reminded when someone crosses your mind, it’s best to take a moment to stop and reach out because there’s a chance God has put them on your heart for a reason.

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I wonder how many times I miss those gentle whispers? The soft nudges?

How many times do I think of someone, or see something, and feel a tug in my soul and at the same time think, Not now. There isn’t time now. But later. Later there will be time.

When I ignore the whispers and nudges, I believe more times than not, I am probably missing an opportunity. An opportunity to reach out and into someone’s life. An opportunity to show love and care and concern in a tangible way.

It’s so easy to push off the gentle whispers and soft nudges.

I know because I do it all the time.

But this Sunday, I didn’t. And when my friend responded she was sick, I knew what to do.

I offered her a meal, and she graciously accepted. It wasn’t anything fancy or hard. I gave her a couple of options, and she said her family would love pizza. Easy peasy.

Let me stop right now and say this isn’t a look at what I did post. I actually hesitated to write it because I believe this is about God, not me, and sometimes that message gets mixed when our works go on display for others to see. Nope. This isn’t a look at what I did post, it’s a look at what God did post. I am convinced He put my friend on my heart and mind for a very tangible reason. She was sick and needed a friend.

And I almost missed it. I almost missed the opportunity to serve her and her family.

I almost silenced the whisper and pushed back against the gentle nudge.

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A few weeks ago when I was sick, I was supposed to meet up with this same friend and another friend of mine for a meal. When I was diagnosed with the flu, our get-together was canceled.

But do you know what happened in place of that get-together? Both of those friends brought our family foodtwo nights in a row. In the thick of me feeling awful and my husband trying to take care of all the things on the last days before winter break (some may argue one of the craziest times of the year), they stepped in. And it was one less thing he had to worry about, and subsequently, one less thing I had to worry about from the confines of my bed.

I was bummed our time together had been canceled but thanked God for His perfect timing and for their willingness to serve my family.

They listened to the soft whispers. And they responded to the gentle nudge.

Letters, phone calls, texts, Voxers, cards, and even flowers, meals and giftsthey speak volumes. They show someone we care and are thinking of them. And most of the time, they don’t take that long.

I thank God for the gentle nudge to check on my friend. And I thank God for her willingness to accept a hand when it was extended to her.

I was blessed. She was blessed.

And God was given the thanks and the praise and the glory.

God is watching out for us. For me. For you. For our loved ones. He wants to take care of us, and so often that is in the form of someone else reaching out and extending their hand in an act or word of love.

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Lord, please help me keep my eyes open to what You are doing around me. Please open my ears to Your gentle whispers and my soul to the feeling of Your gentle nudge. May I not ignore those moments because of my own selfish desires, but instead be quick to respond to Your call on my life. 

Jennifer Thompson

Jennifer Thompson is a freelance writer, preschool art teacher and mother of four with a heart for Jesus. Her work can be found on a number of blogs and parenting publications. Recently relocated from Indianapolis to Nashville, Tennessee. She is a passionate storyteller and believes every person has an important story to tell. We grow when we share. And even more when we listen.