. . . your Father knows exactly what you need even before you ask him! (Matthew 6:8)
When Mom asked me to take her to a dear friend’s memorial service (I’ll call her Janie), I groaned inwardly. Spending time with people I didn’t know and would never meet again was not my idea of how to spend a glorious summer afternoon. Of course that was selfish of me, and I said yes because I knew it would mean a lot to Mom. Little did I know that the Lord had something he wanted to show me as well.
As I questioned Mom on details of “where” and “when,” I quickly discovered that she was uncertain about some of the specifics.
“It’s going to be at Laverne park.” I knew the place, so how hard could this be?
“From noon to 3:00pm, and we can come whenever we like.”
“Like an open house?”
“I don’t know. I think they might have the eulogy at 3:00pm.”
“Might? Why don’t you call the daughter to clarify?”
Nope, Mom absolutely did NOT want to do that, certain that another attempt at hearing over the phone would not leave her any wiser. I was about to offer to call myself.
“I’m pretty sure it’s okay to come anytime between noon and 3pm,” Mom said.
She decided we’d try to get there by 2:30 pm, well before the eulogy which she presumed would take place at 3:00 pm.
Key fact: Mom has lived in the same house, where I was raised, for 67 years now. When she and Dad first moved there, Janie’s family lived up the road. Janie and her brother were in their late teens at the time.
The morning of the event, a well-groomed older man stopped by. He apologized to Mom, “I’m sorry, I don’t remember your name. I’m Janie’s brother. I was up to see the old house and just wanted to pop in and say hi.”
What a delight to reconnect with him! We visited briefly, and before he left, I made sure to get more details about the memorial service. He said, “Be there at 1:00pm, and look for the orange or yellow shelter.”
Well. We would have arrived far too late if he hadn’t stopped by. What providence!
BUT. The shelter where I presumed the gathering would meet was occupied by a family reunion. I drove through the campground and asked another party. Another family reunion. Finally I drove to another section of the park. I’d never seen the park so busy. All the shelters were packed with people. How would we find the right one? The orange and yellow markers seemed to elude me.
Mom did not she think she’d recognize Janie’s daughter whom she hadn’t seen for many years or that she’d know anyone else at the gathering, and she has cataracts, so she was no help in finding the correct group. Janie’s brother became my only clue as I slowly drove by each shelter, scanning the crowd for someone wearing a tan shirt.
And can you believe it, I found him! The needle in the haystack!
We were a few minutes late but still in time to hear most of the eulogy. Mom reconnected with some people she hadn’t seen in years. And she was so happy to be able to leave her card and gift.
I told Janie’s brother I would have never found them without him as our landmark. Nor would we have arrived in a timely manner if he hadn’t stopped by. Mom and I told him that the Lord had surely sent him, though he looked rather uncertain about that. Regardless of the Lord’s purposes at this memorial gathering, it was pretty obvious we were supposed to be there.
I marveled how God had set things up. Why would Janie’s brother stop in to see an old neighbor, especially if he couldn’t even remember her name? That’s rather embarrassing. But he did. And he provided enough information so that my mom was not deprived of something very important to her.
Moral of this story: Sometimes God answers prayers that haven’t even entered our mind.
Truly, our Father knows exactly what we need even before we ask!