Therefore if you have any encouragement from being united with Christ,
if any comfort from his love, if any common sharing in the Spirit,
if any tenderness and compassion, then make my joy complete by being like-minded,
having the same love, being one in spirit and of one mind.
Her name is Rita. We met under strange circumstances this afternoon. You see, the house next door to me is empty and I thought I might just casually walk around the fence and grab a couple of quick photos of the huge Bradford pear tree that was loaded with white blossoms. As I entered the backyard and was making my way over to the tree, I heard a voice. Uh-oh...here I am trespassing and I just got caught! Since the house was just listed this week, I thought it was probably the real estate agent. Wrong. Rita is a perspective buyer who decided to stop by on her own before she meets with the realtor in a few days for the formal showing. So, I explained to her what my purpose was for being there. After a few uncomfortable moments, we chatted mostly about the neighborhood and all of the usual things that one might chat about meeting under those circumstances. After a brief back and forth between the two of us, I found out she had recently been divorced after a 36 year marriage and she was needing a fresh start. Wow...I thought to myself...I couldn't even imagine that. We talked a bit about how we really just don't know what is down the road and that life can certainly turn out not at all as we had planned. I related her 36 year story to my husband losing his job after 36 years...and how the job he has now (which he loves) is co-managing a group home for six special-needs men and makes less than half his previous salary. My next sentence seemed to change the course of the conversation when I added "it was a God thing", referring to his job coming at just the right time, just as his severance pay had run out. Right away, Rita asked me "So...you're a believer?" The look on her face was hard to explain when I of course answered "yes." Although she was very sweet and polite right from the start, her countenance seemed to change and a look of joy spread across her face. All of a sudden, our conversation turned toward things of the Lord.
I don't know how long we stood outside talking in her potential new backyard. I know I learned many things about this perfect stranger. I learned more about Rita's life in a matter of a few minutes than I have learned about any of my neighbors in the last twenty-two years! I learned that through an abusive childhood and subsequent abusive marriage, she was still loving Jesus...and she needed to share that with someone. She may be my new neighbor or she may not be. Our paths may never cross again. All I know is that because I decided to sneak a picture of a tree (which I never got because it got too dark) my rather uneventful day was brightened and hopefully Rita's was too...two perfect strangers found a kindred spirit within each other. Whether or not we meet again, I have no doubt...it was a God thing.
I hope your week is blessed with "God" things!