“Shoulda, Coulda, Woulda” by Kitty Holt

“Shoulda, Coulda, Woulda” by Kitty Holt

photo-1473181488821-2d23949a045aAbout a decade ago, the name of a middle-school teacher came to mind completely out of the blue, with the thought that I should write him a letter and let him know what a great teacher he was and what an impact he had on me. “I should do that,” I thought. And he came to mind often, with me thinking about the unwritten letter each time he did. A few months later, I was informed of his death. The letter had never been written, and I felt really bad for not listening to the nudging that I was getting.


Soon after, a pastor at my former church was discussing the church’s prayer shawl ministry and reminding us that if we knew of anyone who could use a handmade prayer shawl, to come up after the service and take one. An acquaintance immediately came to mind. I felt certain that I should bring “Mary” a prayer shawl and let her know I was thinking of her, as she was going through a difficult time. But, as Mary was only an acquaintance and I thought it would be weird for me to give her a shawl, I fought the conviction that I should do this, especially when I felt like I was being led to give her a yellow shawl. Yellow?! No, I don’t like yellow, so she won’t either, I told myself. Yet the nudging persisted through the service. After the service I resigned myself to getting the yellow shawl. I delivered it to Mary the next day, along with a handwritten note. She loved it, and confided that she was losing her vision and the only color she could really see was….yellow. At that moment, I was convicted that if I felt a nudging to reach out to others, and if there was nothing unbiblical about what I felt I should do, I would do it.


I would love to say that since these events I have always listened to the gentle nudging when I feel that I am supposed to do something like this, but I haven’t. While reflecting on a recent event where I had felt I should reach out but did not, and it was too late, I realized that I don’t want to go through life thinking, “I should have.”


“Do not quench the Spirit.” 1 Thessalonians 5:19


What would be the impact if each of us changes our “I should do that” into “I am doing that”? Let’s do that!