Friday, August 23, 2013

August 23, 2013

Divine Appointments
Friday,  August 23, 2013

What a busy day!  Lots of things were going on today and being able to hear them is such a blessing.  On Friday mornings Ron usually meets our son Jeff for breakfast.  He left for that and I got up and got ready for my day.  There were things to do at the house before I headed out.  I went to the backyard to check on a few things and ended up working out there for about 30 minutes.  A couple of shrubs near the back door were taking over and soon it was going to be a challenge to get out that door.  I got my clippers and cleared the pathways around it. 

My plan had been to go to Staples to get some office supplies, but on the way I changed my plans a little.  I had been meaning to go by the hearing aid store and talk to them.  There were times during my stretch of near deafness that I got very frustrated with them.  I wanted to hear.  As I left their office the next to the last time (probably in March), I was so upset.  I was trying out a high powered hearing aid and had been in for adjustments - again.  It just couldn't work.  My nerves were raw.  I had an appointment with Dr. Chang, the surgeon set for a few days later.  I wanted to be able to hear him.  As I left the office on the verge of tears, all of a sudden, it hit me: if I could hear, I wouldn't be going to Houston. 

A few days later at the end of my 30 day trial period, it was time to either pay for the device or return it.  I wanted to talk to the lady and I was still considering buying the device since it would be the only thing I would be able to use to hear at all until the Cochlear Implant was activated in early July.  But it was a lot of money for a few short months.  They had called me to come in that morning.  When I arrived, the lady was too busy to see me.  In frustration, I took off the hearing aid and gave it to them and told them I guessed that answered my questions and helped me make my decision.  If the lady had come to talk to me, I might have paid thousands of dollars for that aid.  Instead, I think God helped me not spend that money for a short term help.

When I left the office, I remembered a device I had bought a few years ago, an amplifier, and I came home and got it and found it helped more than the hearing aid that would have cost so much money!  God protected me from a bad financial decision.  I had not been back to the office.  One of the ladies, Gracie, had helped me all she could.  I just could not be helped with that hearing aid.  Not being able to be helped by a traditional hearing aid is a criteria for being a candidate for the Cochlear Implant.  Gracie had been helpful throughout the process and so this morning I picked up some flowers and took them to her and thanked her for that help.  Gracie and her boss had heard all about my success with the Cochlear Implant from friends of mine who are also their clients.  They were delighted with my success and it was good to be able to hear them and carry on a conversation with them. 

When I left there I returned home for the birthday gifts that I had forgotten to take with me when I left the house.  Next I headed to Staples to get the supplies I needed and then to get to the office.  Thankfully my grandson was there so he could unload my purchases when I got to work. 

My grandson and I spent time working on pricing merchandise and visiting.  We had lots of customers to wait on.  Around noon we ate our lunches and visited some more.  A friend from our church, Don, picks up our two oldest grandsons on Friday afternoons and works with them doing assorted projects.  They work on taking apart and repairing computers, creating web pages, doing electrical wiring projects, and helping out at the church.  We kept busy while waiting for Don to arrive.

Have you ever had a Divine Appointment?  I did this afternoon.  Before Don arrived for the boys, a customer had left a key for me to copy while he went to get some money to pay for it.  When he came back, he paid for the key and then began to talk.  He told me that he had only been in our store once before and that was when he was 8 years old.  (My guess is he is in his late 50s now.)  His 12 year old brother had brought him.  After he grew up, he moved away and had just recently returned to Brownsville.  Then, this is where I started to see that this was one of God's planned conversations.  He mentioned that he used to go to that Baptist church down on Elizabeth Street and sit in the balcony.  I too, loved sitting in the balcony at that church building.  That is the church I grew up in and where we are still members.  Our church (that Baptist church) had moved to a new location 33 years ago, and the man had been away from here for longer than that.  When he returned to Brownsville a few weeks ago, he visited that church building, but found another church now owned the property and the Baptists weren't there.

He had been struggling since returning and had walked to the employment office one day (probably 2-3 miles from his apartment near our business).  As he walked home that day, discouraged, with the temperature 102 degrees and the sun beating down on him, a lady stopped her car, and asked if he needed a ride somewhere.  He told her that would be nice.  He told her how discouraged he was and she asked if it would be alright if she took him to talk to someone.  She took him to West Brownsville Baptist Church where the pastor talked to him that afternoon and led him to the Lord.  He looked at his fingers a minute and did a little counting and said with a grin from ear to ear, "I accepted Christ as my Savior 10 days ago!"  He just couldn't stop smiling!  My grandson was standing with me as the man shared his story.  He said that the people at both churches, the church meeting in the old First Baptist building and the people at West Brownsville Baptist, had been very friendly and nice to him  but he knew he belonged at West Brownsville Baptist.  He was just bubbling with joy.

About that time, Don, our friend, arrived.  I waved him over to join the conversation.  I introduced Don to him and asked the man if he spoke Spanish (he had been talking to me in perfect English).  He said yes, he spoke both English and Spanish.  I told him Don helped to run the Spanish language Christian radio station here in town and when he asked Don what the name of it was, he said he was already listening to the station.  He asked us if our church still had groups who would come in the summer and go to different parts of town and have Bible classes (Vacation Bible School) for the children.  We told him yes, that groups still come to do that.  He told us which area he had lived in, and said that a group would come there and he used to go to their meetings and loved the Bible stories and the snow cones that were served.

He continued to talk and share how he can't stop telling people about Jesus and how happy he is now.  He left  but returned later in the afternoon to ask if I could make some change for him so he could do laundry and then said he had a question he wanted to ask.  He wanted  to know if it was OK for him to wear a cross - just a plain cross with nothing on it.  I told him that would be fine.  He had grown up in a home from another denomination and knew there were differences in the way things are done.  May no one squelch the fire burning in this man's heart that is overflowing with the love of the Lord.  We talked about how to share that excitement with others.  He is doing a great job of it.

He told me that First Baptist church used to send a bus to his neighborhood and bring them to church.  He remembered that at Thanksgiving and Christmas the church would bring a big box of food to his family with a big turkey in the box.  You could see on his face just how much that had meant to a little boy growing up in a family that didn't have enough money for special meals for the holidays. 

What a blessing his stories were to me this afternoon.  I could hear him.  I could hear the joy in his words.  He was so excited, his words were coming out in torrents and I had to stay very focused to catch them as they flew out of his happy heart.  What if I had still been as hearing-limited as I had been for so long?  I would have missed a major blessing today.  Sometimes, it is easy to get bogged down in the every day things.  Sometimes I need to hear that 50 years later someone remembered kindnesses done to his family.

At the end of the work day, I hurried to the Post Office to mail those birthday gifts.  Then, Ron and I met our friends for supper.  We had a nice visit, some laughs and some good food.


  1. It's so amazing to see how God works!

  2. Thanks for sharing this, Linda. I used to help in those summer mission Bible schools and backyard Bible clubs on Sat. mornings and it's wonderful to hear about someone who has great memories of those times and maybe even were first steps to faith in Christ. You meet so many interesting people through your job.

    1. Yes, Karen, it was good to see and also his mention of the bus ministry. I think those seeds were planted and growing - just took him a while to put it all together. He said he had been reading his Bible for a long time and so I think those early experiences both gave him a hunger for the Word, but also he was open to what the pastor shared with him. I had read on FB yesterday that 20% of non-Christians in North America do not have a single Christian friend. I told this man yesterday that all those he is telling about Jesus need a friend.