Earlier this week, I was in one of the neighboring “big cities” making some hospital visits. I’d stopped and grabbed lunch at a quickie mexican joint and was walking back to my car. There, on the ground near the driver’s door, was a folded piece of paper—white computer paper, folded up exactly the way I fold up notes I write and stick in my pockets.
While I didn’t remember having such a note in my pocket, I picked it up and unfolded it. It was a shopping list (is there anything more sad than a lost shopping list?), written by and escaped from some poor soul who would soon become aggrevated when he realized he would be working off memory alone.
Intending to recycle it when I had the chance, I placed this rogue list in the console of my car, and continued my day.
Today has not had a great start. In my home is an infant that doesn’t sleep well. There were some massive thunderstorms that blew through last night. I was running late (I HATE running late). When I finally got out of the house and arrived at the church, I reached in the back seat to grab my bag (containing Bible, computer, tablet, etc.). But my bag was not there. NOT THERE. In my haste to depart, I had managed to leave behind the single most important thing.
Back in the car I go. Back to home again. There’s my wife, puzzled look on her face. There’s my bag, sitting on the recliner near the door where I left it. There’s my kids, excited I’m home so early (oh, to be again so oblivious to the passage of time!).
Hugs and kisses all around, and more than one sad face. Back in the car I go. Back to church again. Round and round and round I go, where I stop no one knows.
I’m thinking of my day. The appointments I have. The small groups I have to lead. The sermon that needs preparing for the upcoming Sunday.
What’s that? The sermon?
There’s a moment’s grace. An idea. An insight. A connection. A plan. I can see it all, at least in broad strokes.
Must. Be. PRESERVED.
Having stopped at a stop sign, I allow my eyes to dart around the car for anything—ANYTHYING—within reach that I can jot some notes on.
The list. The sad, lost, rogue list. Right THERE. What I needed, where I needed it.
The list—sad no more. But suddenly a provision. A met need. A peculiar and divine coincidence of happenstance and divine action.
God is with me. I give thanks.