Do you believe that we live in the company of Grace? Do you believe that Grace lives all around us if we but look for it and/or are open to seeing or hearing it? Here’s a story of another lesson learned that confirms this truth for me…
My family went on vacation the beginning of July. We drove to Tennessee to share a week of houseboating on Norris Lake with one of my brothers and his family.
On the morning of July 5th my family and my niece who had come to stay with us the night before were finishing up our breakfast at the local “Waffle King” restaurant. We had been talking and laughing and carrying on as a family throughout the whole meal. We engaged our waitress, Amanda Sue, who was as outgoing as they come. She shared her southern charm, menu ideas (she told us she hated the waffles but loved the French Toast 😉) and general friendliness throughout our meal.
Our kids and niece had gone out to the car while my husband paid for the meal. I was standing at our booth waiting when I heard the deepest, sweetest southern drawl (to my ears) saying to me, “Whereya from? Someplace up North?” I kinda chuckled and responded that yes, we were from Ohio on vacation. This gentle, giant of man, dressed in blue plaid PJ bottoms and a white V-neck t-shirt went on to tell me all about his experience up North. When he was in his early 20’s, many, many, many years before, he had moved to Pontiac MI, (Yes Bishop, Pontiac MI), to work at the General Motors plant. He worked on the engine line for several years. One day there was an accident. One engine line let loose, banged into him, then knocked him into another engine where he was trapped and crushed between the two engines. He suffered broken ribs, a crushed arm, a punctured kidney and lung, and several other devastating bumps and bruises; it was a BAD accident. He then went on to tell me about the great work his lawyer provided that netted him a decent settlement. After the settlement and his recovery, he moved back home to Tennessee. As his wife continued to eat, never looking up at me, I listened and responded to his story thinking to myself “wow this is a lot to share with a total stranger…”
But then the Grace happened, it took my breath away; a Grace I needed to hear that day. Towards the end of our conversation, I said to him “you were very lucky,” referring to his almost miraculous recovery. For his response, he stopped eating, stopped talking, paused almost forever, looked me dead in the eye and then said (again in the MOST amazing-to-my-ears southern drawl) “it wasn’t luck…but I do know what it was. It was the Master’s Hand on me.” In that moment I was struck with awe and chills ran up and down my spine.
Oh yeah, I get all the political correctness issues of “master’s” hand, but in that moment, this man spoke in the most genuine, honest way, sharing with me his deep faith that in his heart and soul he knew that God had reached out to intervene and save him that day, of that, he was sure. And he definitely convinced me! 😉
I will remember that grace-filled voice for the rest of my life; that voice that reminded me of God’s work in all of our lives, his beloved children.
May today, your perspective be transformed from luck to awareness of God’s hand at work in your life. God does touch each and every one of us; sometimes in miraculously large ways and sometimes in miraculously simple and small ways…but nonetheless miraculously.
Thank you, stranger-now-brother, for reminding me of miraculous Grace…