I will not tell this story well. I’ll try, but it’s one of those “you had to be there” things. Still I feel a need to share it. Some former writing teacher of mine will read what I’ve just written, that I’ve started by saying “I will not tell this story well” and will have my head for it. Writing publicly is always such risky business. :-)
Here’s the story, just briefly:
At a restaurant on Saturday morning, the man from the next table comes over and introduces himself to Wally and I. He recognizes me from a photo he saw online.
He’s a very nice man. He’s there with his wife and grandson, having breakfast. He’s also hoping to speak with the owner about a job for an ex-con. He says he knows the place has hired people with records in the past and he’s going to give it a shot.
The three of us have a little conversation and discover a connection, a shared interest in prison ministry.
Wally and I leave the restaurant amazed. What was the likelihood of running into this fellow, that he would be at this restaurant, situated at the very next table, at such an early hour on a Saturday morning? AND that he would recognize me from a photo (when, let’s face it, we all work so hard to put up a photo that doesn’t look like the real us)!
Even more amazing is WHY we are at this particular restaurant, which is not near our home and is a little off the beaten path. In truth, we would never have known about the place, except that back in 2014, when we still lived in Ohio, I was visiting a friend one day and there were 6-7 people from InterVarsity there using part of my friend’s home for a staff retreat.
One young woman said, “We heard you are moving to Louisville. My parents have a restaurant there.” She gave me the name.
If not for that day back in Ohio, I would probably not be aware of the place and certainly would not have been present on Saturday for the conversation with the man from the next table who recognized my photograph.
I told you I wouldn’t tell it well enough.
But here’s the thing and my reason for telling the story: Every now and then I catch of glimpse of the hand of God, orchestrating things. And it blows my mind.
Could He really be IN this mess we call life? If so, that changes everything.