My disappointment was God’s appointment.
Sophia and Carson were dressed, fed, and loaded up in the van. The older two had been packed up and sent off to school. I had exchanged my yoga-pants (stay at home mom uniform) for something that looked more put together. I put my key in the ignition of my van and turned it. Nothing. My battery was kaput.
It had been a tough two days of homeschooling and I was ready for my Wednesday morning bible study, two hours of learning and discussion, with no interruptions. Medicine for this mom’s soul.
“Okay, Sophia. It looks like we are not going to bible study. How about we ride our bikes to that new pie shop and split some pie?” This didn’t sound like a horrible Plan B. Maybe my day would be salvaged after all.
Before I could unload the kids, I noticed a neighbor pull her van in front of my house and then I heard my door bell ring. Tears streamed down her face. Her young son, who had been having some problems, was missing. I stood with her a moment, helping her think through the problem. Then we both went to her house to search together. We turned over things, looked under beds and couches and in closets. Suddenly my dead battery didn’t seem like such a big problem. It was really cold outside and her son was wearing only a shirt and shorts, with no shoes. I could read panic in her eyes. She went to make some phone calls.
After a fruitless search, she said she was worried about her daughter being late for preschool also. That was an easier problem to solve. So I took her van, wedged it next to my dead van in the garage, jumped my van—I’ve had a lot of practice and am very good at jumping cars, I must say—and then took her daughter to preschool, offering to be available later if she needed me.
Before I left, we prayed an earnest, pleading prayer. God knows where this boy is. Nothing is hidden from Him. He is all powerful, and all loving. Lord, you have not given us a spirit of fear, but of power, love, and a sound mind.
After the preschool drop off, I made it to bible study after all. A little frazzled, but intact.
Now I know why my battery was dead. God wanted me there, to help my neighbor. And she helped me, too. We were living in community.
Halfway through our small-group discussion time, my phone buzzed. It was my neighbor calling to tell me that she found her son wedged behind a futon; a futon that I know I checked behind earlier. He was safe and sound.
When our study time ended, I shared the good news with my small-group leader, a woman named Jean who is probably in her late 60s, and another friend who is probably 50 named Laura. I love these women. They are so calm and godly and classy and fun. It has been so great for me to get to know them. I didn’t know how desperately I needed these godly, older women, such wonderful examples, in my life. Sometimes you don’t know what you need until you have it, and then you realize what you were missing all along. Here we were, sharing, and living in community together.
Last night I met with some women at my church and we helped our friend Ginny pack up her kitchen and move it to her new house across town. The new house is amazing, and will be such a blessing to her family and others. We celebrated the move with her and rejoiced with her. We were living in community, as God intended.
There have been many times where I have felt like I must walk a path alone because I didn’t feel that anyone around me completely understood. Even when there are a lot of people around you, and a lot of noise, it is possible to still feel very alone. It’s not a good place to be. I know, because I have been there.
Thank you God, that you bless us. Even when we feel alone, we are never truly alone. You give us community. You are present with us, in the presence of your people.