I didn’t have much time before I had to be back at work, but that didn’t seem to be as pressing as I thought, because I saw a man’s face in the crowd, and uncontrollably blurted out “hello”, followed by his name. I hadn’t seen him in years, and yet I somehow knew his name.
He looked straight at me and spoke my name too, which was equally as strange. I had a hat on my head to hide by messy hair. The brim was pulled down quite low. I had hoped I was unrecognizable, but then why would I be saying hello? What was God up to?
The fellow left the line up at the till and walked over. We went to High School together, he was in my sister’s grade. Our conversation was as if we knew each other well. It only took seconds to discover the reason for our familiarity.
“I’ve been a Christian for about six years now” he confessed. I smiled, “how wonderful” I replied. He knew I was a believer too. Ah hah! We were one in the spirit, brothers and sisters in the family of God. We shared a powerful bond.
He spoke about his Dad, who had just died recently, and I shared of how my husband and I had just said goodbye to our Mom. I warmly offered my sympathies and raved about how God can help us through even the darkest of times.
He shared about his recent separation, counseling, and the Bible studies he was attending. I gently reminded him we are all on a journey, and we all make mistakes. But it is the humble and courageous who recognize their need for help, and their need of God – in order to change.
He told me he had a home church he was attending regularly. I commended him for not trying to “go it alone.”
I invited him to a monthly community dinner we have for single parents, widowers, the divorced. “It’s just nice not to have to cook. By dining together we learn more about that journey we are on, and how we need each other, most importantly how God can help.
We went our separate ways back to our work, but it was evident God had planned another one of His moments. Life had just gotten a little less lonely. The world in all it’s frenzy, and indifference had just gotten a little warmer, and made more sense.
I worked that afternoon under a special glow. We might have a thousand things to do, but none more important than making personal contact. When we dare to make time for one another, we get to see Jesus in a brand new light. We get to live on purpose.