- One morning I was rushing around at home in order to get to work on time. It was the Thursday before Easter, and I needed to begin teaching at 11:45 am. I did not have much time to spare; I allow about ten minutes to walk to work plus some margin to get set up in the classroom I will be using. There are two different paths I usually take to arrive at work. This particular morning, I briefly hesitated when the path split between two possibilities. I carried on in a certain direction. A few minutes later, I encountered a woman I knew who was delivering flower arrangements for Easter. She asked me if I was going to the school that her grandchildren attended. I replied, "Yes." Then she asked if I could please give them each a bus ticket that she held out to me. They would know what it meant, she added. I agreed and carried on with my walk to work. When the students had a break for lunch, I was able to deliver the tickets I had been asked to do. If I had left my house sooner, would I have met this lady? If I had taken a different path to school, would I have been able to help out in this way?
- Our 18 year old minivan had been leaking some fluid onto our driveway, so we called the garage to check it out for us. The appointment was in a couple of days, so we kept driving the vehicle. On my way home from a prison Bible study, I parked the van outside the garage and walked the rest of the way home. The next morning the garage called asking, "How did you drive this minivan here? The power steering pump is completely broken. Because of the interconnection with the hydraulic system, the brakes should have been affected as well." Apparently, the mechanic had extreme difficulty cranking the steering wheel in order to advance the vehicle into the service bay. When the van was repaired, the mechanic kept shaking his head at how a part so damaged could have had no effect while we were driving it. True, it is possible that it was holding together right until the moment it was parked and that it broke overnight. Very mysterious. Very blessed!
- I try my best to purchase my groceries all at once on a particular day of the week. I know that this is the way to spend less than spontaneous trips over several days when you "need" something. One afternoon I truly did need four items to carry me over to my next big shopping day, including a dozen eggs. As I stood in the express check-out line, a woman I had never met before came up to me and said, "Thank you." When I gave her a puzzled glance, she said that she would have forgotten to buy eggs if she had not seen my package on the belt. Off she rushed to add this item to her basket. I was just paying for my purchase when she came back with all she now needed. Again, she thanked me. Sometimes we can beat ourselves up about not living up to our own standards. Maybe there's a reason we need to be in a particular place at a particular time that has nothing to do with us. If my absent-mindedness ends up helping someone else in the end, then I need to just smile and be grateful.
- In addition to my part-time teaching role, I also provide editing for a few theology students and engineers for whom English is not their first language. It is the nature of this type of work that requests to look over a document come right before the person's due date; thus, I need to help them urgently. This week I received a similar request, but the assignment was actually already past due. I had about 90 minutes before I had to leave for work as I downloaded the paper. I was dismayed that it was 15 pages double-spaced. On a good day, I am able to edit 7-8 pages per hour, depending on the writer's skill with English grammar and expressions. I replied to him that I would get started, but that I probably would not be able to complete it in the time I had. As I made corrections and suggestions, I continued to progress. When I arrived at the end of page 15, only one hour had elapsed. I know I was given special grace to finish the work on time because I have never been able to be that time-efficient. Soli deo gloria.
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Friday, 17 April 2015
Over the past few months I have been tracking different incidents where God showed Himself providentially at work. Some of these events left me with some type of gift, but during others I became part of a gift to someone else.