It's the little things that remind me of God's love, that show me his presence and the sweet, gentle touch of his concern and care for me. His presence is like the whisper after the wind, earthquake and fire that he speaks to Elijah in (1 Kings 19:11-14), surprising me with the sweet things only he could know would touch my heart that turn me towards him.
One such example happened last week when I was having a rough day and had prayed for God to send someone to reach out to me and show me his love. I was circling the always-full parking lot in front of my dorm building, praying for God to provide me with a spot so I didn't have to park 10 minutes away and could get to my noon class on time.
I looked down a row and saw a campus policeman waving like crazy in my direction. My immediate thought was, "Am I doing something wrong? Does my car have a flat tire or a taillight out?" I decided that probably wasn't the case, and that the policeman was actually waving at his professor friends on the other side of my car, so I drove down the last row, my hope for a good spot extinguished. As I turned to go to the farther lot, I saw the policeman walking toward my car and waving me to him. I experienced a momentary sinking feeling, wondering how to explain why I hadn't stopped the first time as I drove toward him and rolled down my window.
Instead of telling me I was doing something wrong, the policeman smiled and said, "There's a spot that just opened up over there, but you better hurry to get it -- someone else is looking, too."
A little surprised, I thanked him and drove to the spot he'd pointed to, which was close to the building. While it might have seemed insignificant to an observer, my day got brighter because the policeman had chosen to tell me about the spot and gone out of his way to flag me down to let me know about it. I knew he was the answer to both my parking spot prayer and the prayer for God to send someone to show me his love, affirming my existence and worth as a person and as his beloved child.
This instance made me think about how we can be the answers to each others' prayers, sometimes without even knowing it. God uses us when we're willing to give even just a little of ourselves in a way we might not think is significant. I'm so excited to get to see one day how the things we do on Earth piece together as part of the beautiful masterpiece God is painting with our lives. I'm so grateful we get to take an active role in creating this masterpiece, and so grateful God has a love like parking spots and policemen, a gentle whisper we get to lean in to hear.
Mia Pohlman is a Perryville, Mo., native studying at Truman State University. She loves performing, God and the color purple -- not necessarily in that order.