Have you ever been in the middle of a situation and then, just for a moment, gotten a flash that something beyond the moment was occurring? Something bigger than you, bigger than the situation?
That moment came for the man-child and I, sitting in van in the right lane of a busy Orlando boulevard, completely broken down and waiting for the promised tow truck. It came as I looked at him and said, “I think we should get out of the van and wait by the side of the road.” This after a good while of sitting in said van. To which he replied, “I was just thinking the same thing.”
How does that happen – two folks thinking the same thing at the same time? Is it a random coincidence or can we all agree, it’s not? Oh, in the moment it seems it might be random but it has happened far to many times and I’ve figured out, nothing random about it. And events coming after that confirmed to me that random it wasn’t.
So we wait, about 5 minutes, on that side of the road, and then hear a far away voice yelling, “Can I be of some assistance?” See, here’s the thing. If we hadn’t exited that van, we wouldn’t have been asked because this sweet man talking his daily constitutional wouldn’t have seen us sitting by the side of the road.
So over walked M to see what we needed. We shared the story – brake failure (as in completely) but how we were safe and waiting for a tow truck to come. I could see the way M intently watched my lips and quickly surmised there were some hearing challenges for M. The device behind his ear confirmed that to me.
The man-child, still mostly child but on his way to man, gave M a tour of our van, which we had owned a total of 4 days at this point. It’s a pretty nifty van, complete with potty, shower, bed and kitchen and it will be taking an Epic Journey with us as we strike out to points known and unknown. But I digress. Back to the story at hand.
Inevitably, when there’s more at hand than meets the eye, we get to the part we’re supposed to get to. Turns out the three of us, me, M and the man-child, are all God believers. The big G to us – the same God who sent Jesus. So we were on the same page as it amounted to that. So we spent some time having a real hallelujah moment beside that busy Orlando road. Not everyone appreciated that, I’ll tell you. Quite a few folks were honking and shouting as they needed to bypass the van and it’s flashers. But when you don’t have brakes you are there for the long haul and so we passed the time very agreeable like having a hallelujah moment and all.
Midway through this time this idea kept popping in my brain – pray for M and his hearing to be healed. Well, I’ll tell ya. This kinda stuff always makes me a bit uncomfortable. But since we were already on the same page (same God, remember?) I didn’t think M would be too uncomfortable. So I asked, “Can I pray for you and ask God to heal you?” And M said yes and well, God showed up. Right there on that busy Orlando boulevard. By the time I had prayed everything that was on my heart, M said he felt he could hear better. Even removed one of those hearing aids to test that premise and, yes, it was so. It was pretty awesome actually but then we serve a pretty awesome God.
We got to know M a bit better as we spent two more days in Orlando getting those brakes fixed (and a bit more besides). M took us to his church. They were an awfully nice bunch of folks who welcomed us right in and even had a couple of Christmas gifts for us. (I know, right?)
It was hard saying goodbye to M. He shared his heart with me. He has had a life with a lot of struggles and the fight isn’t over. We prayed some more in the hotel lobby after he dropped us off after church. But I know God is with M, just like He’s with you and me. And his story isn’t over. There’s more healing there for M. In fact, I think a big part of that story is just beginning.