Have you ever traced the path back through what eventually led to an answered prayer? Very often, the twists and turns of fate are remarkable, if not unbelievable.
Recently I had the opportunity to be a part of someone’s answered prayer, and it gave me a wonderful insight into an intricate pathway that led to an elderly gentleman being able to have this Thanksgiving holiday with his family.
For the past several years I was very involved with an organization that resulted in me being engaged every Sunday for several hours. About a year ago I began to feel uncomfortable, and wanted to step away from the role I was playing – to take a break. When I first had that impulse, I brushed it off, but the feeling grew in intensity and I have learned to listen to that inner voice: I knew it was time for me to go.
I was grateful to have my Sundays back and enjoyed the 2-day break between often-hectic work weeks. The break also gave me the opportunity to go somewhere on Sunday if I chose not to lounge around the house. More often than not, I opted for the lounging 🙂
A few months after I departed that organization, I was invited back to a special event. As a visitor and not a leader, I sat in the back and ended up seated next to someone I hadn’t seen in some time. We exchanged emails and agreed to get together soon.
A few weeks later she reached out and we made plans to meet for dinner. In the course of our conversation, a topic came up that piqued my interest. She shared some information that I was very interested in knowing and which inspired me to visit the local Christian Science church to touch base with someone she knew from a few years back.
I had never attended a Christian Science service, so I was curious to learn what they did on Sunday. I had read Emma Curtis Hopkins, who was an early teacher of Ernest Holmes so I knew we shared some similar beliefs, but also knew that there were distinct differences.
In the course of my visit, I ended up meeting a number of older folks – members of the congregation. They invited me to a special event 2 weeks later, and I accepted the invitation. The event was capped off with a luncheon, which gave me the opportunity to sit and chat and make some new friends.
In the middle of lunch, one of the women received a phone call from the church organist, who was not feeling well, and had been unable to attend the event that day. I had met him the previous week and was sorry he was missing the day. The conversation at the table turned to what to do if he was ill the next day, which was Sunday.
I’ve worked off and on as an Organist for Protestant churches since 1992 so I spoke up, and shared my phone number, telling them that if they ever needed a substitute organist I would be happy to help. I live in the neighborhood and am free on Sundays – at least for now.
The Organist ended up feeling better the next day, but 2 days later I received a call and long story short: I’m subbing for him at their Thanksgiving service.
The answered prayer portion of this comes in here: this gentleman was planning to drive several states away to spend Thanksgiving with his entire family, but he was not going to be able to leave until after the Thanksgiving Day service, meaning that he and his daughter would end up being 3 to 4 hours late for the main dinner. When he found out that there was an organist that was willing, able and in the neighborhood – he was thrilled.
When I met with him to get the quick tour of the organ, I thanked him for the opportunity to sub for him. He shook his head.
“No, thank YOU!” he said.
I told him that I was happy I could facilitate him spending Thanksgiving with his family. He and his daughter will leave the day before Thanksgiving and will enjoy the entire Thanksgiving day together with his large extended family – something that was not in the cards until I showed up. Although I’m not sure of his exact age, I know he is well into his 80’s and that time with family on this important holiday is something they will all cherish.
He looked at me and said quietly, “This is the answer to a prayer” and I knew that he was not speaking metaphorically.
As I looked back over the seemingly random events in my own life over the past 10 – 12 months, it fascinates me to see the many twists and turns that landed me at that Church on that day, at the table with the woman who received his call.
If I hadn’t left the organization back in March, I would not have had the opportunity to sit in the back that day.
It’s unlikely that my friend and I would have reconnected in the same way – we had time to sit and chat since I was not serving in a leadership role.
This chit-chat led to us agreeing to get together for dinner sometime.
Dinner topics that evening led to a conversation about people she knows, and piquing my curiosity about something that led to me visiting the local Christian Science church.
I just happened to show up at their church prior to an event that fell on a day when I had nothing going on (also a rare occurrence).
I attended the event, and stayed for lunch. I actually contemplated an early exit several times throughout the event, but something urged me to stay.
I ended up at a table with the woman who received a call from the Organist that led to the conversation and my offer to assist.
At numerous points across the past 10 – 12 months, I could have made a decision that changed the trajectory of my path. But I ended up being in the perfect place at the perfect time to be a blessing for someone who wanted one in a big way and left the “how” to God.
It’s funny how these things come around. Sometimes I wonder, and question and as a science-based educator, I often wrestle with doubt. And then just as I’m about to throw in the towel,…something like this happens and I see the fingerprints of Spirit all over a profound and unlikely blessing with a path so intricate, only divine intervention could have pulled it all together.On this Thanksgiving, I am thankful for my family, and all the many blessings in my life but I am particularly grateful for this recent demonstration – this answered prayer and the beauty of its unfoldment.
(C) 2017 Practitioner's Path