Sometimes, in the midst of all this uncertainty and upheaval, it is easy to forget who's running the show. Patiently, though, God reminds me. We've been fretting about finances. We've got a child beginning college. I've been layed off from my seasonal job, and have not found a replacement job yet. Tim's job looks uncertain. After years of living debt free, we took advantage of the depressed housing market and bought a house, which we've gutted, and just begun to put back together. Tim found another house, on the same street, and over my objections, felt quite certain that we should buy that as well. And so we did. Then I was diagnosed with cancer. Suddenly, nothing was certain anymore. We just took possession of the house, and began to update it when we received a phone call. A friend had moved into an apartment, only to discover, two weeks later, that the owner had sold the house, and she had to move. She wanted to rent from us very badly, but she needed to move in instantly (instantly!!!!!). Tim headed straight down to the house to assess the situation. While he was there, people, he crossed paths with a friend. After chatting, Mark took a look at our apartment, and rented it on the spot. Both apartments were rented within the space of 4 hours. We had not even advertised them.
Last week, we went to Pittsburgh. We were circling around the parking lot looking for an empty spot, and much to our amazement, a couple from our church crossed in front of us. I could not hug Jen in church because I was minorly radioactive from the MUGAscan, but there in Pittsburgh three days later, I was able to jump out of the car, calling their names, and hug them both. Jen, after years of infertility, is finally pregnant. But on Tuesday, we rejoiced in a hospital parking lot far from home. What a moment! And, since they were leaving, we were able to (finally) get a parking lot.
Today, at church, I was worship leader. I looked at all the dear faces before me. Years ago, when Tim and I were looking for a church, we had walked into to this church with the intention of trying it out. People were so warm and welcoming that we never tried another church. We had found the right church on our first try. In this emotional, crazy time, my church moved quickly, to provide meals, to provide comfort, to send cards, to volunteer to sit with Tim, to drive me to chemo, to drive up to let the dog out. There are a number of cancer survivors there. All of them tell me the same thing. A survivor has a certain spark about them. I have that spark, they tell me. My sense of humor will see me through, they say. My faith will see me through, they say. Although my own praying is choked and halting, their praying is not. Riding home from church today, I reflect on all thse things. I don't believe that it was a coincidence that Tim and I ended up in a church that has everything we need to help us in these times. I don't think it was coincidence that our house rented so breathtakingly quickly. I don't think it was coincidence that we ran into the comfort of good friends in the parking lot at Magee Women and Children's Hospital.
A month ago, when I broke the news to my Sunday School class that I had cancer, you could have heard a pin drop. I comforted them with these words: "This is a chance to watch God at work, close up. I guarantee this." Every week, they ask me for a God story. Every week, I've got more than one. Say what you will, believe as you want, but I will call this God.