‘Lights’ Guide Sister to Reunion with Long-Lost Brother

Post a Comment » Written on December 21st, 2002     
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CHICAGO, IL (December 21, 2002) – The Department of Communication of the Evangelical Covenant Church (ECC) receives more than 200 local church newsletters each month and occasionally reprints devotionals. We offer the following devotional from a parishioner at Covenant Congregational Church of West Hartford, Connecticut, in the hope that it brings added meaning to this season of celebration.

By Mary VanDerMeid

Sometimes life places us in a state of shock and we can do nothing but let it unfold and let the reality of the moment be pondered at another time.

During these moments, the hand of God can be confusing or as clear as lights on an airport runway. I was blessed recently as I was taken on a journey where the lights were all around me and the hand of God powerfully led me.

In November, I was sent by my school district to a conference in Denver, Colorado. As I packed, the thought entered my mind of someone who had disappeared 20 years ago whose last known address was in Colorado. That someone was my brother.

On an impulse, I grabbed the only address I had for him and packed it in my suitcase with the thought that I’d see if I felt moved to do anything with it. As I went through the conference, I had the nagging feeling that if I didn’t at least try, I’d always wonder what might have been. So, I tried calling a phone number I had, several times, but it was never answered. Then I tried to look up his name in the phone book. I found one and called, but it wasn’t my brother. This was followed by a phone call looking for a company I thought he might have worked for, but no one had heard of that company. So, at this point, I called my husband, Tom, and said, “Why would I think I would find him now, when he has chosen not to be found all of these years?”

Then, when I was ready to close the door, the lights started to come on – God’s not mine.

The first light was my roommate (at the conference), whom I had just met. She turned out to have lived in Colorado and looked at the address and said, “You know, I don’t think that town’s too far from here.” I wondered if I should just try and find the address and show up.

The second light was the hotel concierge who got on the computer for me and pulled up public transportation that might get me there. Now, concierge number two, at a different hotel, told me that buses would not run out there on the same schedule on the weekend, but he helped me find the bus company so I could find the right bus to take. With directions in hand, I walked to the bus and found someone waiting who told me how to find taxis in this area, something I’d need once the bus line ran out. The bus driver didn’t know the address, but gave me a ticket back so at least I’d be able to get back to Denver.

Once off the bus, two teenagers at a Subway restaurant helped me call taxis, only to have them say that they didn’t drive that far (out of the area). Going to a store next door, two employees helped me find a different taxi company. At this point, no one knew where the address was. I went back to Subway and one of the kids remembered there was a Papa John’s Pizza in the plaza and said they would know all of the addresses in the area, so off we went. Before we were through, we had around eight employees looking at maps and drawing out directions. After 45 minutes, the taxi came and, with different directions in hand, I headed for my destination.

The cab driver agreed to wait for me as we neared the address and as we pulled up there was a man with his back to me, saying good-bye to some friends in a car in his driveway. When I said my brother’s name, he said, “I’m John.” I said, “I’m Mary.” He said, “My sister!” He then turned to his friends in the car and said, “My sister just showed up at my doorstep.” The cabdriver left with the parting words, “You go for it honey – hope it all works out.”

My brother and I drove up into the mountains that night and talked for several hours. We are now on a new journey together and I am so thankful for all of the people God provided to help me along the way.

This story is about God providing people to be lights along the way of our life journeys. It is about ordinary people being God’s messengers, even when they may not know it. It is about God’s timing, working when walls are ready to come down and hearts are ready to find home. And when we may have started to believe certain things would never happen, there can be miracles.

As we enter this season of light and remember those who trusted a magnificent light to lead them to the Christ child, may we not miss the lights on our path (as many did when Jesus was born). And may be remember that we never know when God will use us to be light to others.

Copyright © 2011 The Evangelical Covenant Church.

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