By Carissa Douglas
I'm not kidding. The Holy Spirit honestly sent me a pencil sharpener. It's a heavy duty (Panasonic) plug-in that looks like it could handle the flurry of pencils we somehow manage to go through in the course of only one school day. I was fed up with feeble, useless and easily-jammed devices and mentally whipped out an exasperated prayer that was almost embarrassing: "Lord, I'll keep doing this homeschooling thing, but you have to get me a decent pencil sharpener!!!"
There is this saintly woman, who lives close to us. I'm convinced the Holy Spirit speaks to her heart especially when it comes to our family. Within days of my pathetic prayer for a sanity-saving pencil sharpener, she knocked on our door and held out the Holy Grail of such devices asking nonchalantly, "Could you use this?"
I probably freaked her out a little when I yelled out, "ARE. YOU. FOR. REAL!!?!!?!!"
My kids all ran to the door to see what manner of madness was making their mom all crazy-like and I explained to both them and the sweet woman standing before me, that I was overwhelmed at how the Holy Spirit was able to speak to her. Because, really, who shows up at your door and hands you a pencil sharpener? And one that is easily perfection incarnate at that. And all within days of you praying for God to send you one? Really!!! Who does that!?!
The Holy Spirit does.
My eleven year old son looked at the woman with such awe, walked up to her slowly and then locked his arms around her in one of the most beautiful, heartfelt hugs. She was so touched and I was so grateful, obviously for the pencil sharpener, but more so for this gift of being able to demonstrate to my children the attentiveness of God when it comes to even the smallest (or most embarrassing) of requests. He will not be outdone in generosity and He always finds a way to lavish His love on His children. I pray that I will be attentive to His voice speaking to my own heart and that the Holy Spirit will be able to use me as He does my saintly friend.
I only hope, like her, to be an effective tool - like this mother-of-all pencil sharpeners!