6 September 2004
When I think back over the years of my life it is amazing how many of the pivotal people in my life have been absolute unknowns. They were there for a moment, usually an event in time, and then they continued on with their journey and I mine. The obvious question was simply, “Just who are you anyway?” (John 8.25) In hindsight, even then, I knew.
There was the night I tried to load twelve sheets of three quarter inch thick plywood, oak veneer for a cabinet project in a friend’s loft by the way, on top of my van. Someone stepped up, took control, and guided us through the solution. I can remember feeling grateful, confident, and somehow full of hope by the experience. When I turned to thank him, he was gone. The fleeting memory of the brown hair, checkered flannel shirt, and pipe hanging out of his mouth was all I initially thought I had. I now find myself coming back to the experience again and again as a model for my choices with others.
I can vividly sense the cold on a December midnight in Alberta Canada when a friend drove my car into a snow bank in the middle of a national park. The overwhelming sense of despair, desperation, and wonder at another’s stupidity flooded every part of my being. I’m sure my tone and body language, was could be seen and sense through the reflection of the headlights on the snow and the semi-full moon, was ugly at best! Yet the stranger who appeared in his battered pick-up still gives me a fresh sense of warmth, energy, and tingles of hope. I cannot forget the sense of calm infused with absolute assurance everything was going to work out. Again, while I remember the look and even the smells I do not have a name. At least in this case I got to say thank-you!
I don’t know yet I do. We, you and I, can be God’s hands, feet, and occasionally voice for others today. We can be the who.
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