Monday, November 1, 2010

Page Turners

As a writer and reader, imagining possibilities and making up endings has never been a problem for me. Just the opposite. Often the scenarios I dream up seem so wonderful or whimsical that they diminish the real thing. That is, until I run into the real thing, and He proves to me, yet again, that He really is the author of life.

Consider this recent example: A year and a half ago my husband and I, along with several other people, planted a church. Make no mistake about it: Church planting is hard work, and it takes a lot of hard-working laborers to get the job done. We have some of the most dedicated people I know working with us already, but our vision is big; we can use more. We prayed for laborers. In my own mind, I even picked out a few people I knew were looking for a church home. They never showed.

A few months ago, however, a friend from another time and place called us. He was looking for a job. He was looking, in fact, all over the country, including our area. We’ve been friends with this man and his wife for a long time. They attended the church my husband pastors in Tucson, Arizona. We lived in the same neighborhood. We’ve visited with them in several states through the years. But our friendship is not simply social; it’s much deeper than that. We’ve shared life—and death. We sat beside them and prayed as their baby died.

Almost simultaneously, a friend that we knew from a church my husband pastored in Montgomery, Alabama found us online. To our collective surprise, we discovered that her husband was being stationed at the Air Force base here in Dayton. We shared a lot of history with this woman, too. She used to give us complimentary tickets to the theatre where she worked, a generous and greatly treasured gift. But our friendship was not really social; it went deeper than that. My husband presided over her first husband’s funeral.

I never saw this plot twist coming: Both couples now live here. Both joined our church. They are helping us live out our story and mission assignment—and I’m hoping we do the same for them. While I hoped to cultivate people and introduce them to the work we are doing, God took a shortcut and moved to surround us with friends who already knew our ministry.

God likes to surprise me, and He’s good at it. Meanwhile, I am hooked on His plot twists and alternate endings. I bow to His superior plotting as I look forward to the next chapter.

1 comment:

Todd Charske said...

Cool writings I saw you on linked in but didn't have your e-mail to link to you so I went to this blog. You're an impressive writer! Keep the Faith!

link with me if you can