I wish I could say I had faith like Hadassah (main character from A Voice in the Wind). But I have been told (by family members in-the-know) that I sometimes go into “frantic Frani” mode. Yesterday was one of those days.
One of my primary mentors passed away at 95, and her sons wanted me to speak at her memorial service. Three minutes, max, (all three sons, and a grandson were speaking first, and another close friend after and they didn’t want to go too long.) They wanted me to open (after the opening prayer) with scripture readings before anyone spoke. I knew what I wanted to say, and what she had asked me to say, and which scriptures she would like read. Still, I had sleepless nights. Every time I started reading, I started crying. Rick said, “Take a deep breath if you start feeling the tears coming…” (And carry a fistful of Kleenex.)
Our friend let us know where his mom’s memorial service would be held. I typed the address into the Google map feature and printed instructions, rehearsed, had it clear in my head how to get there. Usually I get a real map and figure it all out, and have cell phone numbers for “contacts” in case of emergency. For whatever reason, I didn’t do all that prep work this time and…
We left three hours before the service to make the hour and thirty minute drive – just in case there was traffic. There was. Worse: the map was wrong.
We followed the directions and ended up at a dead end. Tried another road and ended up in a neighborhood. This was supposed to be a BIG church with a LARGE sanctuary and a chapel. Yikes!! We drove around, hunting, phoning the church. It was Saturday. We left a message on the answering machine. Yikes!! We asked a cyclist where the church was located. He didn’t know. (He was from Scotland and didn’t have a clue.) We stopped at a gas station. They didn’t have a map of the town, and the young man had no idea where the (any) church was located. Aye-ya-yi-ya!!!
Time was passing. The “plenty of time to get there” had dwindled to twenty-three minutes before the service. I lost it. “I don’t know what to do, I don’t know what to do, we’re not going to make, we’re not going to make it…” Rick replied (rather calmly under the circumstances), “Don’t run over the pedestrians.”
And then, I thought of it. Prayer!! Now there’s an idea. You’d think that would be the first thing that would come to my mind. Well, folks, I confess, sometimes I forget the Lord is watching over me (and you). Anyway, I cried out to the Lord – literally and loudly. “Oh, Jesus! Help!! Please, please, help us!”
And the cell phone rang. Literally, seconds later. God was probably shaking His head (“Well, it’s about time she asked!”), but it was the pastor on the phone. He said he had just “had a feeling” he needed to go back to his office (which he never does on a Saturday) and “happened” to hear our two messages: “We’re lost.” “We’re still lost!” We told him we still were and what street we were on and what cross street was coming up. “You’re very close, Turn left. Then turn right.” We did and there it was: a HUGE church tucked next to the freeway and a block off the main drag we’d been driving like teenager cruising back in the 60s.
I didn’t have time to wilt in relief. We could see the sanctuary, but still had to find the chapel. A very calm, smiling pastor came outside to greet us. “You have plenty of time…”
And in my head, I’m singing (while on my way to the lady’s room, a drink water and time to breathe deeply), “Oh, Lord, thank YOU for getting us to the church on time!”
Maybe someday, when I grow up, I’ll have faith like Hadassah.