That’s what I feel whenever You pull one of Your “patented” Divine Encounters, Lord! After my initial shock and awe, that is. 🙂
We wanted a quick breakfast before leaving Miami for home. Something simple. We drove out of the hotel parking lot. Within a half mile, we saw a fast food place… but we were in the wrong lane. We couldn’t make the turn.
As we drove on, we realized how close we were to Coconut Grove. The little village (back in the day) where the now-famous Jimmy Buffett did his first paying “gig.” There’s bound to be a little sidewalk cafe there… right?
Cafes? Perhaps. But a parking space? Dream on! We drove down countless streets before finding a parking garage… much to our relief! Until we walked out to the street.
Not a cafe in sight!
Which way to go, Lord? That way? OK, whatever You say… After several blocks, we spotted a cafe brimming with sidewalk tables and happy patrons. Success!
We sat at the only open table and ordered quickly. Two women next to us were clearly enjoying themselves. We leaned over, apologizing for our interruption. We had a quick question for someone local. One was local, but she didn’t have an answer for us.
That’s when Your Divine Encounter began, Lord. I didn’t see it coming. How could I?
She asked us, “Where do you live?” We answered, “Avon Park.” She said, wistfully: “I used to go to a church camp there. I loved it!” Our mouths dropped open. “A camp on Lake Byrd?” “Yes,” she exclaimed, “that’s the one!” It was our turn to exclaim.
“That’s where we live! On Lake Byrd!!!”
She and I got goosebumps.
TIME OUT, Lord! Let me get this straight…
In a city of 5.5 million people, You directed us to a particular woman in a restaurant we “happened” to find, several blocks away from the only parking garage in a neighborhood we hadn’t planned to visit. A woman who had gone to a church camp over 50 years ago on the shores of the very lake where we now live???
We wasted no time exchanging cards. So we will both know how to reach each other after today. So we can both ask You, Lord, to help us make sense of this “chance” meeting we both know has nothing to do with chance.
Maybe You just wanted to give her the gift of that cherished long-ago memory. Maybe You want her to come visit so she can see this beautiful lake again, for “old times’ sake.” And maybe, just maybe, it is something altogether different.
“Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights…” (James 1:17)
There I was, suddenly having breakfast… with JOY! The JOY of knowing You were once again — as always — “up to” something amazing, Lord!
I introduced myself as I left. She reciprocated.
“My name is JOY.”
Of course it is. 🙂