Wednesday, July 18, 2012
It’s a God Thing—Carolyn Wilker
The first time someone called a happening a “God thing,” I was sure I knew what it meant—an act that filled a need perfectly in that day and time, or an act of receiving when it was most unexpected.
I’ve experienced those “God things” before; maybe it was our turn to give. One act involved family and the second a stranger, if one can consider a well-known musical performer a stranger.
For the previous two weeks, my husband and I babysat our young grandchildren. The babysitter was on vacation, and so we had agreed earlier to do it so the children would not need to make another adjustment over the summer.
I knew those days would be busy ones so I took some time off work and arranged to do quotes and reading for clients in the evenings. I went through the house and baby-proofed it even more and invested in a few puzzles for the older child. With the addition of some of the children’s own toys and an extra playpen for sleeping, we were ready.
It was a busy time—playing with the children, feeding them, changing diapers, going on walks. It took nearly as much organizing to get out the door for a walk as it has to get ready to go on vacation. Diapers. Check. Bottles and food. Check. Change of clothes, and on it went. My husband prepared the lunches and we kept the naps on track. When the children napped, I napped too. Except for days when the youngest mostly wanted her mother, we were greeted with hugs and juicy kisses.
Our daughter and son-in-law said, “Thank you” over and over. It meant a lot that they knew the children were happy and well cared for and the gap had been filled. Could that be a “God thing?”
The second instance of a God thing began with prayer while I was on my early morning walk the beginning of this week. Names came to me, one after another, from family members preparing for weddings, to my aunt who was ill and not expected to live much longer.
Along with those names came one of a stranger—Rita MacNeil—whom we would see at the much-anticipated concert later in the day. I pondered the number of concerts she’d be giving for those three weeks. It would likely be exhilarating as well as exhausting, and so I prayed for her that it would all go well.
At the concert between songs, Rita shared some personal bits from her life, including her faith and her trust in God. She performed a song she had written about it.
She also told us how it used to be so easy to put some clothes in a suitcase and go, but now she’s got one for her clothes and another for her pills—one for this issue and one for that, and still another pill for something else.
Was she ever anxious about getting through a tour, I wondered. Might my prayers have already helped? Except that she wouldn’t know about mine unless I told her.
The emcee announced that there would be opportunity to meet Rita at the end of the show, to get her autograph and maybe share a few words with her. I knew what I had to say, and it wasn’t about me.
When I was at last standing close to her, I said that her name had come to me while I was walking and praying that morning and so I had prayed for her as well as my aunt. She beamed and said, “Thank you.” Then she did something totally unexpected. She leaned over, wrapped her arms around me, and gave me a hug.
I had my answer. I think it was a God moment for Rita, and maybe for me too, receiving that hug.
My aunt died peacefully that morning. Perhaps her God moment was meeting him.
God moments? They happen.
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