05 November 2018

Gratitude Stories ~ Appearing People

Greetings Dear Reader,

Sometimes it is faith that leads us to the stories.  As I tell this story, I want to give you permission up front to be doubtful.  When I told it to one person who no longer follows Christ he said, “It is a small town and coincidences happen.”  That is understandable because when this same person had to do something hard, he told me he was sure it was what the Father wanted him to do.

If you have been keeping up with my journey, (Go back to the end of August if you need to catch up.), you know that part of what I seek is redemption from those I have wronged in the past.  I came with a list.  It included people who I had no idea how to find.  After all, I have been gone for twenty years.  Thereby hangs a tale…

The first week I was in this small town I knew that I had to jump on the task of seeking out those from whom I needed forgiveness or I would shove it to the back burner and eventually to the cold dark recesses in the deep freezer part of my heart.  I arrived on a Saturday.  On the following Tuesday I was driving into town to acquire a lamp for my desk.

As I drove, I prayed.  It was a simple prayer.  The names are changed to protect the privacy of others.  I prayed, “Please Father I know that you wish for me to accomplish this task.  I have no idea how to find BOB.  If you could make it easy for me to do so I will handle seeking his forgiveness right away.”

I pulled into the parking lot of a thrift store where I knew I could likely find an inexpensive lamp.  I walked into the unfamiliar store feeling foolish for asking God to help solve a problem I had neglected for so long.  I made my way back to the lamp area of the thrift store.   Sitting on a chair there was the daughter of the man I was seeking. 

Fear welled up in me from both seeing someone who could judge me and the immediate and direct answer to my prayer.  She greeted me with love and kindness and told me where to find her father.  I went directly to his home and we had a beautiful good talk filled with his love and forgiveness.  I left with a lighter heart and deeper faith. 

But wait, there is more.  There were two other men on my list I had no idea how to find.  Emboldened I prayed to find them as well.  Meanwhile I worked my way down the list of those I could find or write.   One of the men is someone whose teaching and spirit gave me a glimpse of what a real father must be like was elusive to me.  I asked after him and could not get any information.  Then I “accidentally” saw his wife.  I did not recognize her.  Another person who knew me introduced us and the realization flooded over me that once again the Father was arranging things.  This man, his wife, and I had a beautiful conversation. 

Over the rest of the month I worked through the list and there was only one more name on it.  I had not idea how to find him either.  Meanwhile I went about pursuing the other things that brought me back to this place filled with the deepest sorrows in my life.  I met my brother at a coffee shop for lunch last week because his company in this part of the journey is a deep blessing.

As we chatted about the other things, I am sorting through he paused.  “SUCH A ONE is sitting behind you,” he said.  It was the last person on my list.  I spoke with him and he forgave my failure to be what I was supposed to be so long ago.

How is this a story of gratitude?  I am grateful that the Father made the appointments that allowed me to find people with whom I needed to connect.  I am thankful for forgiveness and beyond that restoration of friendships that are with good men who love God.  I am thankful that my brother was allowed to see God put the last piece of the puzzle into place so that we could both take in the picture of redemption. 

So, tell me a story Dear Reader.  I would love to hear about some of your divine appointments.  Thank you for your company and listening to my tale.  Even if you can explain it all away as coincidence, I am more concerned that you feel the need to do so.  Where does that come from?  What is that story?

Wishing you joy in the journey,

Aramis Thorn
Mat 13:52 So Jesus said to them, "That is why every writer who has become a disciple of Christ’s rule of the universe is like a home owner. He liberally hands out new and old things from his great treasure store.”
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