Short Stories

Clean It Up!


Early one Saturday morning before having his breakfast, little Bobby snuck in the kitchen grabbed three chocolate chip cookies and ate them in his bed leaving chocolate stains and crumbs all over his sheets.

Later that day, he taunted his little sister and shoved her, making her cry.

A little later on, he grabbed an egg from the refrigerator and threw it at the neighbor’s window.

When his parents found out all these things he had done, they were so disappointed in Bobby. Unapologetic, Bobby rolled his eyes and sneered not feeling any remorse or guilt for what he had done.

Later that evening, Bobby, his little sister and parents went to the store to pick up dinner. Not having yet dealt with Bobby, his parents allowed him to tag along.

Bobby sees a toy race car that he really wants.

“Mom!” Bobby screams.

“I want this! I REALLY want this! Please, please, please!!”

Bobby’s Mother glanced at Bobby knowing that she wasn't buying him anything because of his recent behavior.

“Please Mom! Pleeeeeaaase!”

Bobby got louder and louder and began to make a scene. Bobby’s Dad grabbed him and started walking him toward the exit. Bobby was consistent in asking for the toy car until they walked out of the store. He pouted all the way home because he didn't get what he wanted.
This is exactly what we do to God. ALL the time.

We, a lot of times, are oblivious to our sin, not realizing that God wants to deal with the sin in our hearts before he grants us our desires. Yet we beg and plead, fuss and complain because we are not getting the things we want, not even realizing that there is a bigger issue at hand. Our hearts.

Can you imagine God shaking His head at us as we beg for what we want when He can clearly see what’s truly in our hearts? Can you imagine how much more God wants to clean our hearts than merely giving us with the things we are begging for?

We forget that just like Bobby’s parents, God sees our hearts. He knows our motive. Not only does He hear us when we ask Him, but He knows WHY we are asking Him. And just like a loving parent, He knows that correcting and shaping our character is much more important than giving us everything we want.

God is not in the business of making sure we have pleasurable lives, He is in the business of our hearts. He is in the business of shaping and molding our hearts to be a reflection of His. He is in the business of breaking us until we realize our dire need for Him. And because He loves us, He works endlessly on transforming our desires into His desires for us.

This past month, God showed this to me clearly. And once I realized that I was acting just like Bobby, begging and pleading with God for my selfish desires without acknowledging the sin in my heart, I felt so convicted. I realized what I was doing was wrong, and I began to notice that God wanted so much more for me than what I was asking Him for.

This realization pierced my heart so much that I actually prayed and asked God not to grant me my desires until my heart is clean and clear of any mess that will get in the way of the joy I will have when He lovingly grants me what He has in store for me.

Now that is definitely a risky and scary prayer to pray, but I want God to know how serious I am. I no longer want to walk in oblivion to my sinful actions. I no longer want to hurt people in the process. My heart is a construction zone and only God alone can help me clean it up.

So when the time comes and God begins to pour out blessings on me, I want my heart to be free and clear, open and ready to receive all that He has in store for me. Until then, “clean up on aisle 9!”




Reference Scriptures:

"Purify me from my sins, and I will be clean; wash me, and I will be whiter than snow. Oh, give me back my joy again; you have broken me -- now let me rejoice. Don't keep looking at my sins. Remove the stain of my guilt. Create in me a clean heart, O God. Renew a right spirit within me." - Psalm 51:7-10 (NLT)

"Take delight in the Lord, and he will give you your heart’s desires." - Psalm 37:4 (NLT)

"I will open the windows of heaven for you. I will pour out a blessing so great you won’t have enough room to take it in! Try it! Put me to the test!"Malachi 3:10 (NLT)

The Indirect Power of Giving (Short Story)

Sitting here reflecting over my weekend and I wanted to share something that happened this weekend that really filled my heart...

About two weeks ago, I was out and about as I usually am, running a few errands. I made a stop to my nearest Target to pick up a few things (a few things? Right. lol). As I was walking to the entrance, I noticed a Caucasian male standing near the entrance. As I got closer, I heard him say,


"Excuse me Ma'am."


I turned around to see a slender, slightly unkempt gentleman trying to get my attention. I already knew what he wanted after quickly observing his demeanor. Rushing to get to the door so I could get in and get out, I briefly turned around (didn't want to be rude) and said,


"Would you happen to have any extra change so I may get me something to eat?

Now, I live in Chicago. Believe me when I say that this happens ALL the time. There are pan handlers everywhere. In front of stores, on the corners, and even in the street at stoplights. Sometimes without even hearing what they have to say I brush them off most of the time because I don't feel like dealing with them. And sure enough just like I thought, this gentleman was asking for money. But for some strange reason, I noticed a sincereness in his eyes when I looked at him. At that moment I felt the Holy Spirit gently whisper to me,
"help him." But as usual, I walked past him, shook my head and replied,

"I'm sorry, I don't."

I walked into Target, got my "few" things and walked out on the opposite entrance so I wouldn't have to interact with him again.

On the drive home I kept thinking about it. For some reason, I couldn't get this man's face out of my mind. I immediately felt convicted and sad that I didn't help him. I couldn't really understand why out of all the panhandlers I say no to, this one weighed heavy on me. I knew then that it was because I didn't listen to what the Holy Spirit told me to do, and I was sorry.

Fast forward to this past Friday. Friday morning, I thought about the situation again while laying in my bed. I thought about how it wouldn't have taken much for me to give him the change from my coin purse. I brushed the thoughts off and just went about my day. Later that day, I again was out and about running errands, picking up food to prepare for a few house guests later on that evening. Walmart was on my list of places to go to pick up some snacks. As I was looking for places to park (the lot was unusually packed), I had to park further away from the entrance. As I pulled into my parking space, I see a man a few feet away from my car. I took a quick glance and I knew it was him! I was shocked! And I was surprisingly happy! I got out of my car and heard,


"Hey there pretty lady, would you mind sparing some...


Before he could finish, I smiled and asked him if he was the same guy that I saw in front of Target the previous week. He said yes and I chatted with him for a bit, asking him how he was doing (like I knew him lol). I told him that instead of giving him money, I would get him something to eat. He smiled and said he would wait by my car for me to return out of Walmart. I walked into Walmart smiling because I knew I had the opportunity to do things right this time. I got what I needed and walked into the Subway inside and bought a footlong sub, 2 chocolate chip cookies and a Coke. As I was walking back to my car, there he was, still standing there. When he turned around and saw me handing him his food, he started laughing with excitement. I had never seen anyone so happy! I don't think that he believed that I would actually buy him food. He thanked me, took the food and walked away. I got in my car and noticed as he was walking away he did a little fist pump and mouthed "YES!" I drove off and he waved at me again as he saw me leave.

This may not mean much to many, but to me this was monumental. At first I thought that this was a mere coincidence but then I realized that no, God orchestrated this. He gave me a second chance. He taught me a lesson. He used me to be a blessing to His child. And although I was disobedient the first time, He gave me a second chance all the while teaching me how important it is to give.

All of these thoughts and feelings overwhelmed me while I was driving and (me being my sensitive self lol) I started crying and I wasn't sure why. I was overcome with emotion and my heart was SO full because of the realization that God loved me so much that He gave me a second chance to do things right. I was also full because it made me realize that we sometimes take what we have for granted. All this man wanted was to eat. God has blessed me with so much, what would it take away from me to help him? My Dad always used to say, "We get to give to get to give to get to give..." It's an ongoing cycle. Ultimately, God blesses us to be a blessing to someone else. And although it is impossible for us to help everybody, it is extremely important that we follow the leading of the Holy Spirit when He urges us to help someone in particular. I may not know why it was so important that I help this man that God gave me a second opportunity, but I do know that it was part of His plan. And that fact alone is enough for me.

I am so glad that God allowed me this opportunity. I'm glad that I was able to mirror Jesus' love by helping someone that could possibly never help me. I believe that I benefited more from helping that gentleman than he did. Helping him indirectly helped me.The joy I felt was priceless and incomparable. God taught me a powerful lesson. The indirect power of giving.