top of page
  • Writer's pictureDarcie @ Leighton Lane

Monitoring Problem

twenty dollar bill

If you are monitoring the situation in our world, it kind of looks like God is on break right now? More like on sabbatical.

Many of you may be wondering “Where is God right now?”

“Has he left us?”

“Has he forgotten us?”

“Where is the One in control?”

The other side, the losing team, they taunt us trying to reaffirm our insecurities.

“Where is your God now?” they say.

“Y’all tired yet?”

Never mind the losing team’s comments, the problem is our perception of what His work should look like. We tend to expect God to do it our way instead of trusting and accepting His way. We expect His timing to be more succinct, more in line with our timing. Please.

We want peace when all we witness is more bloodshed. We expect miraculous healing instead of suffering. At least we wish this was the plan.

We want life instead of death.

That’s exactly what He gave us, through the sacrifice of His Son.

And that’s exactly what He is working on if we’d just get out of our own way.

We have a monitoring problem. I know I do and I’ve been handed the pink slip many times.

“You’re work is done here.”

I reapply for the position, because I am persistent – more like stubborn and non-compliant.

Then I get a, “You’re fired!”

One time I got fired from being a stalker. This is one of my better lessons of monitoring. Luckily, this one was short lived and I did not end up in jail.

It was Christmas Eve. As I headed into the store, I dropped the twenty dollar bill my Mom had given me. I noticed the bill on the ground and tucked it back in my purse. Seeing it in the parking lot reminded me of a story my Mom had told me.

On a Christmas Eve, when my sister and I were still young children, our Mom worried about providing us with gifts. She prayed about it, because that’s what she does. And lo and behold there was a twenty dollar bill in the parking lot.

It’s amazing the way “coincidences” work – wink!

The Nostalgia was overwhelming, so I decided to pay-it-forward. I paced the aisles pushing my cart looking for a recipient. Some major profiling was going down as I looked for what I perceived as characteristics of a person struggling. Someone who needed a little pick-me-up.

Completely oblivious to the fact that I was looking and acting like a stalker, I kept this up for a bit. I was on a mission.

Finally, I came upon an older gentleman who dressed a little homely with a threadbare knit hat. He was an associate of the store as well. And I watched him as he stocked the shelves.

I wanted to be a Secret Santa, so I laid out my plan of action.

Great! He was stocking wine and wine was on my list. I pushed the cart with one hand and stealthily dropped the twenty on the floor with my other hand. It was right next to the pallet he was stocking from, so when he bent over to pick up the empty pallet – he would see it.

A perfect execution. “I really should have pursued other careers,” I thought. “Ones where stealthy competence is needed.”

Of course, I needed to see the moment when he picked up the bill. I wanted to see his expression. Who doesn’t love some cash? So, I hid on the other side of the grapes – “looking for the freshest ones.”

To my disappointment, I watched him pick up the empty pallet and leave the twenty right where I had dropped it. “Is he blind?” I thought. A normal, rational person would have left the twenty on the floor and actually shopped for what she came for. Never once, have I claimed to possess normal or rational tendencies.

I waited for the man to emerge from the stock room. “Yes,” I confirmed again. This man needed this twenty dollar bill.

Great, he was stocking the reds this time. I leaned in pretty close to him this time as I reached for a bottle. Again, in covert mode, I dropped the bill basically on top of his foot and quickly turned the corner.

Of course, I hurried to the other end of the aisle as I noticed him leaving for the stockroom again. I didn’t care about his expression this time. I just wanted to know he picked it up. Imagine my expression as I stared at the crumpled twenty at the end of the aisle.

At this point, I wanted to grab the man’s hand and put the twenty in his palm. I restrained myself.

Yes, I picked it up again. This time I made a tight little ball and overhand threw it as hard as I could. I closed my eyes, so I didn’t see where it landed and I immediately headed to the checkout. And out the door.

Before the cops were called.

I was furious by the time I made it to the car, but I started laughing the minute I turned the key. How could trying to do a good deed be such a tough feat and unsatisfying? And really embarrassing if anyone watches the surveillance video. Honestly, this is a normal day for me. My friends can attest to it.

proverbs 19

I came to the realization,

He gets it right the first time.

I should have left the twenty in the parking lot where it first landed. But, no, I had to put my sticky fingers on it – meddling.

He knows who needs it.

We look at the outside when he looks on the inside. Basing my chosen recipient on outward characteristics, instead of praying for the one in need just put me in a precarious situation. Albeit a funny one when I recalled it.

He asks us to give and let go.

Giving in its purest form makes us feel good. By this, you can’t give without getting. Our problem comes from controlling the outcome.

If you give a homeless guy some cash and find out he bought alcohol, it deters you from giving again. If you give up, you miss the third time where the cash bought a kid’s medicine.

He doesn’t need our monitoring.

I read about this chalk line one time, where God draws a chalk line around us. The concept means we stay within our chalk line, in obedience – waiting on Him. Then He will make it bigger as needed. I actually obeyed this one time and waited. Normally, I’m erasing the chalk line and hopscotching on out of there.

I am a work in process. Honestly, a shock collar would work best.

We always want to fix “things” for people and a lot of times God needs us to wait for his instruction. Because he’s already working on the “things.” He is the fixer, not us.

By waiting, I ended up with one of the best friendships of my life. And it was easy. Not the waiting part, but the relationship.

He’s a patient teacher.

Even to the stubborn, non-compliant students. The ones who mess up over and over again.

His plan always prevails.

No matter how much we get in the way. Whoever was meant to pick up the twenty in the parking lot, picked it up inside after my fastball pitch. Maybe it was a single mom with a couple of young kids.

One who’d been praying.

And coincidentally a twenty fell from the sky.

And His plan will prevail, no matter how precarious the situation looks now.

26 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All


bottom of page