Sunday, April 7, 2013

Sit next to Rosalind

I'm having lunch with a good friend today.  Actually, she is a "good" friend and a "God" friend.

I had just started attending a church with a rather large congregation.  Personally, I find it hard to connect (and easy to hide) in large congregations - so it was an unusual selection for me.  However, the Lord had shown me that this was where I was to attend for the time being.

Representation - not actual church.

After I had been attending for a while someone from my work visited the church.  We were having a special speaker or something that day.   My friend from work knew several people in the congregation, so she introduced us.

A few weeks later I was entering the large sanctuary before the service.  I looked around.  Everyone seemed to be "with someone."  There were clusters of people together talking or waving to someone across the room.

For some reason, that day I felt especially alone - like an outsider.  People were coming in and finding their seats.   I looked around and prayed, "Lord, where should I sit?"  

It was an odd thing to pray.  It was early, the service wouldn't start for a while, so there were lots of open seats from which to choose.  It wasn't a matter of finding a chair.  It was a cry of the heart - almost without thinking, involuntary.  It was my heart asking God to connect me with someone in this large crowd of people.

Just then a thought came to my mind.  Almost a whisper, "Sit next to Rosalind."  My eyes were drawn to a woman seated a few rows in front of me on my right.  She looked vaguely familiar, so  I assumed I was remembering someone my friend from work had introduced me to a few weeks before when she had visited the church.

I made my way down the aisle and into a seat in "Rosalind's" row.  I sat right down next to her.  She glanced at me and smiled politely.  

"Your name is Rosalind, right?"  I asked her.  A puzzled look came over her face as she nodded in the affirmative.  "We met a couple of weeks ago when (I mentioned my friend from work's name) visited here.  Do you remember?"   Again the puzzled look.  

I plunged on and repeated my statement.  "Remember?  It was when we had the special speaker."   Rosalind looked at me and said, "I don't know anyone named (and she named my friend from work).   You and I have never met."     

I had to process that for a moment and then I realized that God had answered my whispered prayer in a very swift and most unusual way.  

Rosalind continued to look at me and I don't remember if she asked me how I knew her name or if I just blurted out what God had done. 

 In any case, she was as completely amazed by it as I was, but we both recognized and acknowledged it as God.  I had heard of and experienced "divine appointment," but never "divine introduction" - to the point where He gives me the person's name before I meet them.  I think we both wondered why God was introducing us to one another!

I soon realized (on my part at least) why He did.  The Bible says that "every good and perfect gift" comes from Him.  Ros is one of those "good and perfect gifts" in my life.  She is deeply in love with the Lord Jesus and is a continual inspiration and blessing to me.  She has an insatiable love of God's word and can remember scripture better than anyone I have met.  I cherish her

We don't get to see each other much since we move in different circles - but we have maintained our friendship and make a point to see each other on a regular basis.  I cherish our friendship.   It is not a quantity friendship - rather a quality friendship.  To put it in today's vernacular - each of us knows we have the other's back.

In the Bible the book of Philippians chapter 1 verse 3 Paul writes, "I thank God upon every remembrance of you."   My modern translation - "I thank God every time I think of you."

That is how I feel about my "good and perfect gift," my friend, Ros.  I thank God for her!  Off to lunch!

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