Tuesday, July 26, 2011

I will be found by you, declares the Lord

Jeremiah 29: 4-14

While traveling up the highway today with my friend Betsy after a morning gathering in the garden, the impossible happened. Not the improbable. The impossible. A vehicle ran through the flashing red light directly in front of us and in spite of Betsy's impressive channeling of Mario Andretti, an accident was unavoidable. I braced myself and focused on the point of impact to come. There were two options. If the hit was solid, we could crumble into a heap. If we clipped the rear end, we would be spinning. There was nothing I could do in either case, but for some reason I was intent to know which was coming; which is why I was staring so fixedly through the windshield; which is how I know the impossible thing that happened next. With my eyes glued to the other vehicle, it suddenly became transparent and we passed through the back bumper and part of the quarter panel with no damage to either vehicle. Impossible, right? Definitely.

When Betsy dropped me off, we tried to make some sense of whatever had just happened. Betsy kept saying, "How did we miss her?" and I kept saying, "We didn't. We passed right through." We even walked around to touch the hood of the truck in case the accident had actually happened and we somehow didn't comprehend the blow or the noise. Does that make sense? Of course not. But it's no less strange than any of it was. I had clenched my muscles so tightly that my calf muscle involuntarily cramped causing my foot to strike the console. The result was a minuscule scrape and one drop of blood. It was a relief to see authentic blood as proof that we hadn't imagined the whole thing.

Enough for one day, right? No.

I tutor young ladies at Coosa Valley Youth Services on Tuesday mornings. When I arrived this morning, still shaken, all the girls were away at a special program and a psychologist, a social worker, and a maintenance man were in the office. They apologized that no one had called me about the schedule change, then out of the blue, Nilda (the psychologist) said, "Teach me something today." There is often friendly banter among the staff and myself, so I answered, "Well, I know everything, so just ask me anything." She said, "Life. Teach me something about life." I waited for the rest of the joke, but instead all three of them were silently looking at me like they expected an actual answer. I had no intention of talking about my morning adventure, because they like me and I didn't want them to think that I was mentally unbalanced. But they just kept waiting. So I took a deep breath and told them the story. What followed was a wonderful conversation of how unbelievably easy it is to be unaware of the ever-presence and power of God. They apologized again as I left, but I think what happened went exactly as planned.

I debated whether to write about this or not as I began my post as usual by opening an online dictionary and thesaurus. I found the word and quote of the day....

Mantic - one touched by divine madness

"It is these mantic responses that alert the intelligence to the presence of something that calls for interpretation."
-- M. R. Wright, Andrew Barker, Reason and Necessity: Essays On Plato's Timaeus

How crazy is that?

In our lesson Sunday from Jeremiah 29, the defeated and exiled people of God are told to ignore the false prophets who tell them that good times are just around the corner. Instead, their children and grandchildren will all know hard times in a foreign land. But they are not to wallow in their misery. They are told to plant gardens, eat the food of Babylon, be good neighbors and pray for the welfare of  their country of residence. The hope and plans that God has for them are beyond possessions and land. It's far better than that.

"You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart. 
I will be found by you,” declares the LORD.

And, at least today, not just found, but found in the most unexpected places. 

1 comment:

  1. I must take back part of what I said to you on the phone yesterday as you were relating that story to me. As much as I still believe what happened was for Betsy to feel His presence when she needed it most, I also now know, that it was as much for you as well. God used your experience and your willingness to share it, to minister to that staff at the youth home in a most improbable and unexpected way. You may never know how far reaching your experience will be, but He knows exactly who needs to hear.