The kind of gifts that God gives

I enjoy getting to know Christ Jesus more and more every day. He often surprises me with opportunities to see His heart. Sometimes I choose my busy schedule over the opportunity in front of me, but one day in November last year I slowed down long enough to be changed forever.
While my brother-in-law and his family were in town for the Thanksgiving Holiday, my husband and I scheduled us for a family photo shoot in downtown Waco. We walked around the old buildings having our pictures taken and then we all went down to the river by the old extension bridge. While their family was off having their pictures taken, my family and I walked down to the river to enjoy the water while we waited. As we were walking down the stairs we noticed a lady sitting on the edge of the walkway, with a loaf of bread feeding the ducks. What turned my heart over was how she would enjoy the ducks response to the pieces of bread. You know how they are; they spread their wings and race to the bread to be the first to snatch it in their mouths.
My 5 year old daughter and I stopped as close as we could be to the scene, without causing a disruption. As we leaned against the cold rock wall, we watched her take another piece of bread from her loaf and toss it to the ducks. Iím sure my daughter was watching the ducks, but I was so caught up in this ladies pleasure that I couldnít stop watching her. It was beautiful how, once she tossed the bread, she would pick up her feet and kick them with excitement while clapping over and over, giving out a shrill followed with laughter. She kept doing it each time she would throw the bread, no matter if only a few ducks raced toward the bread or the whole bunch. I was enjoying her so much that I didnít notice we had stood their past the time of comfort. But that didnít bother her; she instantly let us in on her fun. She looked at my daughter and asked ďWould you like a piece?Ē This was the first time I could really see her, I noticed right away that she had survived a trauma. Because she had a scar on her throat where a trach had been and her face had scaring that caused a slight deformity. But in the moments before, God had been making me aware of His presence so I was able to look past that and into her eyes to see who she really is.
We stayed and continued to watch as she finished her loaf of bread. When she was through she reached her hand out to me, as a gesture, asking for help to get up. I know we shared words, but I canít remember them. What I do remember is, as we were saying our good-byes she naturally reached over to give me a one sided hug. But that wasnít enough for me, so I wrapped my arms fully around her and held her. When we embraced, there was someone else with us. He was embracing us too, allowing us to feel His love not only for us but for mankind. It was such a strong feeling that it caused my chest to burn. I felt so happy and gracious that this kind, gentle woman had the ability to reach out to a stranger and offer them a hug. It changed my perspective of mankind forever. A stranger is just another opportunity for us to see the heart of God. Thank you Jesus, for that gift even though it only lasted a moment; Iíll carry it with me a life time. And Lord, thank you for healing my heart from the trauma Iíve lived through so that I was able to welcome a strangerís hug and embrace her back. I love you, Lord. From an Intercessor with a God given LOVE for the city of Waco, Texas.