Do you ever feel you have hit a dead-end, a road block, the end of the trail, but deep down inside you know there has to be a way to get around it? While my no-man’s land is not monumental to most, it could make a huge difference to some. This story got resolved in the slickest way.
Saturday as I headed to a meeting in Wichita, a plastice crocheted sleeping mat rode shot-gun with me. Last summer during Vacation Bible School we challenged the kids to build a trash mountain out of plastic shopping bags. Their response was overwhelming, which is good since it takes about 500 to make one. A few gals volunteered their gift of crocheting to whip out these mats for the homeless in Haiti. Before long our outlet to disperse them fell through for some unknown reason. I searched the Internet for anyone who would take them. Nothing. No emails or calls were returned. This boggled my mind. We had been told Third World countries desperately needed them. Not only were they waterproof, lightweight, and durable, the bugs hated them. It was also an opportunity for a chosen instrument of God to share the love of Jesus. This dispersal hurdle had to be flown over, but how?
Time marched on while this mat set in my office for months, and I felt guilty for not getting it into someone’s hands.
Should I just take it downtown and leave it on a park bench for whoever passed? The wind was incredible, so who knows where it would fly to. Maybe someone at my meeting could help. But, if they didn’t what then? Would I even have time to go on into Wichita and be able to get back for another event I was to be at? The closer I go to the city I realized I was stewing way too much. Throwing up a haphazard prayer, I said “Lord, I know this needs to go somewhere and I need you to work it out.”
Little did I know that prayer flew out the Blueberry’s window and was waiting for me down the road.
I got to my meeting spot too early, so I ran to a very crowded Dillion’s grocery store to pick up some matzo for a children’s sermon. Medicine Lodge’s Jewish population sets at zero, but I learned that evidently Wichita doesn’t have much of one either. After I tromped through aisle after aisle, I found something sort of like it and ended up in the 12 Items or Less lane. A stranger in a crumpled black cowboy hat was chatting it up with the cashier. “You know, I work with a homeless ministry…”
Ding! Ding! Ding! I have a winner! My head snapped around to his direction.
“Have you ever read Under the Overpass? by Mike Yanowski? ” I engage my ‘talk to a post’ skill that my husband and son find frustrating. “It’s a fascintating book about two affluent college kids that went to live with the homeless. One of my top five favs.”
What comes next is a great conversation. The cashier starts to get impatient, but then chimes in when I bring up that we have a crocheted mat ministry. She does floor mats, which had nothing to do with our convo, but a glimmer that she was tuned in, listening, and open. He is thrilled and says “I will drive and pick up however many of those mats that you have.”
I say “Well, I just happen to have one in the car, if you would like it.”
Zorro and I ironically have parked very near each other. He educates me that this mat will go to a guy under a specific bridge in Wichita. “Every bridge you cross here, someone lives under”. He cradles the mat like it is gold and runs his hand over it as he marvels are how tightly woven the multi-colored plastic is. I go on to say that after spending some time at various homeless ministries in Seattle, I have a daughter who would love to get involved, but has no contacts. We exchange addresses and phone numbers, both us in awe at how we were brought together and needs met.
Coincidence? Nah….God does not work that way. I have recently picked up the name ‘God-cidence’ for these encounters. Sometimes it’s obvious, and sometimes there is no way we can get the significance this side of heaven. You just know at the time or something strikes you later that God was up to something cool.
In the Jewish Passover Feast, called the Seder Dinner, matzo bread is key element. For us Gentiles, it is cross between a tortilla and a cracker. It is made with no yeast, just as God ordained back in Moses’s day. Pharoah would soon be on their tails, and the Hebrews were rushing to hit the road out of Egypt. It had to be made quickly resulting in piercings and distinguishing grill mark stripes in the matzo. Ask a Jew, and they will say “that’s just how it’s made. Oy!” The “God-cidence’ here is this unleavened bread points directly to our Bread of Life-Jesus the Christ. He was pierced for our transgressions and his back bore stripes that shed precious blood to cover our mess ups. Goosebumps are quite common as many more masterfully crafted mysteries are uncovered in this feast. God had it all planned out in Alpha and Omega fashion.
So thinking back, can you think of any ‘God-cidences’ that you have seen or experienced? If not, ask Him to show them to you. I know they are there, because I know He’s itching to thrill you.
They might even be as obvious as the matzo ball in your soup.
But there is a God in heaven who reveals mysteries…..Daniel 2:28
photo credit: http://ardreamcenter.wordpress.com/