One never knows when or where God may put a person in your path that could impact the lives of both of you. Or at least make your day a bit brighter.
I didn't want to start my day with a re-check on a patient's prescription, especially one who had just walked in five minutes after I arrived at the office. But what a great start to my day it turned out to be. Thank you, God, for bringing that patient into my life.
She was such a happy, charming, funny person I would never have guessed that she had 26 surgeries in the past 30 years or so, mostly for colitis and other GI issues. But in the course of talking to her she mentioned that her troubles are for the glory of God, because she uses them to talk to others about God and his faithfulness to her in spite of her trials. She mentioned that she's ready to be with God any time because she loves him so much.
I said, "I say the same thing to people, too. I know where I'm going so I'm ready any time. Like Paul says—"To live is Christ; to die is even better." If God has more for me to do here, great, but I'm ready to be with him any time."
Her expression changed as I was talking, and tears formed in her eyes. I'm sure she wasn't expecting her eye doctor to say such a thing. She said, "Oh, I'm so glad God brought us together today. I needed this so much. I needed to hear that. Who would have thought I would have found such hope from my eye appointment?"
We talked more about her church experiences. She loves the Lord but has been essentially shut out of churches because of being gay. She was very involved in a church for four years, singing with their worship band. She mentioned that she is "an awesome musician and gifted songwriter", and she wanted to lead the worship band but the church leaders would not let her because of her lifestyle.
"I haven't dated in 10 years," she said, "but that didn't matter. Being gay goes against their teachings. So, I left the church. But I need to be part of a church. I need the support of others in my faith, and it helps me learn more about God."
I was able to tell her about the United Church of Christ, which welcomes all people, including gays. The slogan of the UCC is, "No matter who you are or where you are on life's journey, you're welcome here." Some of the UCC congregations are Open and Affirming, meaning they have gone through a two-year process to talk about homosexuality and spirituality and have voted as a congregation to welcome gays without judgment, even agreeing to marry them in the church. She said, "I'll have to check it out. Going to Reading may be worth the drive."
She again expressed how happy she was about our encounter. "I'm so glad I met you," she said.
"Well, this was a wonderful way to start my day," I replied.
She started to cry and said,"You've given me such hope." I reached out and gave her a hug.
Both of us had our faith strengthened and our joy renewed from a "chance" encounter that God knew all along would happen.
Thank you, God, for the people you put in our path, some of whom are the least expected to be part of your kingdom.