“And my God will meet all your needs according to the riches of His glory in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 4:19 NIV)
Leaving the funeral of my closest friend’s mother, I could only think of how precious and short this life is, and how much I love my sons, Rory and Ian. In my pocket was a 30% off coupon for the Christian book store, a $25 gift card, and today was the day to pick up our pre-purchased copy of the movie “Courageous,” – a new movie about stepping up to be the kind of father scripture defines. So, why not bless Rory and Ian with a small gift today “just because,” I thought. The Tim Tebow book I knew Ian had been eyeing was on sale. I could get him that. And I wanted to get something encouraging for Rory. He has had a lot of stress lately, the kind that comes with being a young adult preparing to leave home for college, and unsure about the future.
As I got out of my car, a young man approached me on a bike, in the rain. He asked me if I could help him. Making the assumption that help meant money, I pulled out my wallet. Surprisingly, he stopped me. He told me that he was not homeless, that he was just laid off, broke, and lost his car because of not being able to keep up the car payments. He went on to say that he has a handicapped son and could not afford his medicine. He was a United States Army veteran who had served in Desert Storm and Operation Iraqi Freedom. I said, “And you don’t need money?” He answered, “No, I just really need someone to pray for me.” I was in awe. So my new friend “Ken” and I then proceeded to pray for the next 10 minutes in the parking lot, followed by some sharing of Army stories from both of our times in the military. He reeked of the Father’s love today. I was so humbled.
And I don’t mean “reeked” in a bad way either. I mean, riding around in the rain, a basket tied to the front of his bike with a bag of groceries in it, obviously on his way home. I was out to bless my kids with a gift. He was out to provide life necessities for his. Mine are healthy. His is not.
After hugging and promising to continue to pray for one another, immediately I remembered that earlier in the day I had been talking to God and casually mentioned that although I was spending the usual amount of time in prayer, I felt a little distance from Him. I repented of some things heavy on my heart, but that did not seem to “bridge the gap” for me. I also remembered that my family had been praying furiously regarding clear direction (and provision) for college expenses – reminding my boys that God never, ever calls us anywhere and does not provide the means. Perhaps I needed that pointed out clearly to me on this particular day.
At that point, I wondered if “Ken” was really “Ken” or if he was some angel sent by God to greet me in the parking lot to remind me of my Father’s love, to remind me that we have every single thing we need, and that He will remain the provider for His children, Rory and Ian. And that not everyone who stops and asks for help needs cash, and not everyone who rides around on a bike in the rain is homeless. Maybe, just maybe, God thought his daughter, Rita, needed a little humbling, as well as a little reminder of His abundant, never-ending, and indescribable love.
I picked up our movie, “Courageous” and we watched it as a family last night. I went to bed thinking of my riches – two incredible young men who are aware on a minute-by-minute basis, of the love of their heavenly Father. I am blessed beyond words, yes, I am.
“Do not forget to show hospitality to strangers, for by so doing some people have shown hospitality to angels without knowing it.” (Hebrews 13:2 NIV)
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