Monday, September 3, 2012

Divine Appointment

Many times, in ways we never expect, God shows up and reminds us how important it is to stop thinking about our own disappointments and heartbreaks and remember others who may be going through a difficult time. This happened to me a number of years ago...a divine appointment of sorts, one that I've only shared with a few because it is so raw and personal.

A good friends sister passed away and the service was at our church. My friend also worked at the church full time so this was a very personal service and many were pitching in to help with greeting people, serving a meal afterward and showing our love and support for her family. I decided to help and started by passing out programs in the foyer as the mourners arrived. Once the service started, I stayed back to greet any late comers and was the only one who remained in the foyer.
As the service was underway, an older man walked in. He looked a little down and out, a bit shabby in his old overcoat and well worn shoes but certainly a gentleman with kindness in his eyes. I handed him a program and he hesitated. He asked to speak with a pastor and I explained that no one was available, that there was a funeral taking place and everyone was in the sanctuary. He continued to insist and I asked him if he wanted to wait and he said he would. He moved along to another part of the foyer and eventually sat on a bench quietly reading the program I had provided him.

 The service continued for quite a while and after 20 minutes or so the gentleman stood up and walked over to me. He spoke in a soft voice and went on to explain. "I lost my son on Friday, he passed away. I came here to speak with a pastor, to have him pray with me. But you handed me this program and I read it and I prayed for this family that also lost a loved one" My heart hurt...this man who was in so much pain had decided to pray for others in the same situation. As my eyes welled up with tears, I offered to pray with him. We joined hands, bowed our heads and prayed. Nothing fancy, just talking to God, our healer, our comforter, our deliverer. When we were done, he thanked me, turned and walked out the door. I never saw him again. I'm sure he never realized the impact he had on me that day. He came to church expecting to be comforted by others, I came to church that day expecting to comfort my friend and God used us in ways neither of us expected. Isn't that just like God?

2nd Corinthians 1:3-5: Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God. For just as we share abundantly in the sufferings of Christ, so also our comfort abounds through Christ.