Thursday, January 12, 2012

Revisiting Destiny

Last November I shared a story about a chance encounter with a young man by the name of Andrew.   As I walked away from him that day, little did I know that our paths would cross again.  

It's been nearly two months, but that's exactly what happened this week; and again just outside the Ross Store where first this man-warrior made entry into my heart.

Often I have thought of that day ... and of Andrew.  Whenever I drive near the store I always peak to see if he's there's; disappointed when he isn't.  I watch young people as they walk along the sidewalks, wondering if I might spot him toting his guitar.  When he comes to mind, I pray for him. 

On Tuesday, I took stock of my white turtleneck and decided it had to be replaced.  I'm a T.J. Maxx, Marshall's, Ross sort of girl, so I dashed into the closest of the three and there scored the needed turtleneck at a bargain price.   

As I exited the store, a faint though familiar strum of a guitar beckoned my attention. I glanced quickly to the right, and there sat Andrew, right where I'd left him November 15.  He was sitting on the sidewalk, his guitar case open in front of him, and singing a lovely tune I later learned he'd composed.  He wasn't there when I'd entered the store, but there was no doubt he'd settled in during the time it had taken me to make my purchase.

I almost ran. "Hi Andrew.  Do you remember me?  I'm the lady that talked with & prayed for you last November."

The recognition was immediate as a huge grin formed on his acne spotted, handsome face.  "Yes ... yes, I remember.  I also remember how much you helped me that day."

For the next ten minutes I caught up on Andrew's life... 
  • His friend's mother had sorta adopted him (his words) & was looking out for him.  She had even bought him a Christmas gift - - a hoody he was proudly wearing, and which I assessed to be his ONLY Christmas present.
  • He'd enrolled himself in a class to help with the getting of his G.E.D. - - a class he proudly reported that he'd paid for all by himself.
  • In order to make good on his G.E.D.-getting, he has been rising early in order to walk an hour to get to his class.
  • His parents still aren't doing so well, though he didn't elaborate much. 
  • He got a haircut.
  • He has no siblings or family members in the area (in response to a question I'd posed).

On we chatted as I asked more-and-more questions about his life, his music, his aspirations. 

Time came to leave and once again I asked Andrew if I could pray for him.  His "yes" came so quick it make me laugh out loud; and as I knelt next to him he leaned into my arms like my 19 month-old grandson sometimes does.  My heart both soared & ached.  I found it extremely difficult to pray aloud with so large a lump impeding my speech.

Lord, thank you for Andrew, and for again allowing our paths to cross.  What a dear & talented young man he is, and I thank you for that.  Thank you for protecting him, and for again making known to him Your love.  I believe You have an incredible plan for his life, Lord, so please help Andrew as You direct his steps.  Help him to walk in the way You would have him go.

With an "Amen." spoken, Andrew looked with his tear-filled eyes into my tear-filled eyes.  He said:  "Wow, that was so full of love & kindness it made me cry."  

"I know, Andrew; I know.  That's what God's love feels like, and He obviously wants you to know all about it.  If you get your hands on a Bible, be sure to read Psalm 139.  He wrote it for you."

As I readied to leave, I handed Andrew my phone number, telling him as I did:  "If ever you need someone to talk to, please call me".  I don't normally take such risks, but something compelled me to hand it over. 

Just as I'd felt the last time, I had a hard time keeping it together as I drove home and throughout the remainder of the day. 

Today I have concluded that there will be another chance encounter with my musician friend.  

Chance.  In God's economy that's as good as certainty,  So it is with certainty that I plan to purchase Andrew's first Bible.  I will keep it in my car for the next time our paths cross; and cross they will.

16 comments:

Denise said...

Awesome, God bless dear Andrew.

Molly Alexander said...

I am so glad you ran into Andrew again. It is obvious that you are meant to play a role in his life. God is amazing, and I can tell you from experience that you will get more out of these 'chance' encounters than you could ever believe. God bless you for loving Andrew, and God bless Andrew for being willing to listen and recognize God speaking through you.

Sonja said...

There is no question about this one, is there? How awesome that he was there. I've thought about him many times, and I will keep praying that Andrew will come to know Jesus. What a blessing for you, and for him. And to think this is only chapter 2... can't wait for 3 and 4...

Shirley said...

Wow...just wow! This is what it's all about!

RCUBEs said...

I remember his story...It's one of those that is hard to be forgotten, much more with you whose path God chose to place Andrew.

I got inspired to write about "planting" before comin' over for a visit. The more I got inspired upon reading your encounter with Andrew. The Bible says the "harvest" is plenty. But how do we reap something when we don't plant something in the first place? With Andrew feeling God's love and kindness through you, that is what I mean...It's a great start sister...And man! I won't be surprised if there'll be more encounters in the future. But may God bless and guide Andrew and may he truly know His love and grace. Blessings to you sister.

Nancy said...

What a mighty God we serve.....This may sound amazing for us but with God all things are possible.
God knew He could depend on you to be His voice and arms with Andrew so He gave you a mighty task with the gifts to see it through. I can tell you have been blessed beyond measure by being obedient.....

I can't wait to hear about your next encounter with Andrew. I will be praying for both of you.....I just wish I could hug you sweet friend.....

Just a little something from Judy said...

Love this story! Love how our Soverign God works, how He leads, directs, how He loves!!! This is a perfect illustration of God divinely leading us as His sheep, giving us opportunities that we never would have been able to think up ourselves. What a beautiful, gracious, kind, vessel you are for His glory. Thanks for sharing the journey with us, so that we can continue to pray as God leads you and dear Andrew.

Debbie said...

This has got me all teary too...I have thought about Andrew too believe it or not and said a prayer for Him too. I LOVE how the Lord works. I can't wait for you to give him that Bible. I too believe it isn't a matter of "IF" but "When"...I also love how you take the time to show God's love to Andrew, and it blesses us all. His love just spreads...do you know what I mean? Have a wonderful day! HUGS

Beth E. said...

This brought tears to my eyes, Kathleen! How wonderful our God is, that He would allow you and Andrew to cross paths again. I'm so excited about you purchasing his first bible. Looking forward to reading you post when you're able to give it to him.

Hugs...

Diana Ferguson said...

Oh my...so wonderful!!!

Thoughts for the day said...

As a young teen I met with some Christians who showed me that life with God was different than what I had been used to. Home was fractured and I didn't have a 'peaceful' place to reside in, so church became my safe place, and when I needed quiet I would go up into the 'prayer room' and wish that I could just stay there and never leave. I do believe you met him for a reason and I do believe that if you can your influence will be life changing for him. Perhaps you can carry an easy to read bible with you and a 'guys devotional' and the next time you see him, you can give him a gift to grow with. Your an angel to him and although that has a responsibility to it, you can do it with Gods help. Praying for him and you.

Debbie said...

I am so glad the Lord brought you another Divine appointment with Andrew. Isn't it awesome that both you and Andrew were so blessed by this? May we all have our eyes opened to the many who are struggling and seemingly invisible to most people. Love this and so like you Kathleen.

Blessings and love,
Debbie

Terri Tiffany said...

Your encounter brought tears to my eyes! Wow. I think you are awesome to stop and pray with him like that! I admit not having the nerve but I plan to pray that you will meet him again and put that Bible in his hands. Awesome!

Susan J. Reinhardt said...

Kathleen, what an awesome, God-appointed meeting! I'm sure you brought a smile to God's face that day. :)

elaine @ peace for the journey said...

It's the best we can do... reach down, reach out, reach forward to declare the hurting as loved, valued, and seen.

Makes me think about my 3 encounters with Gail when we lived in Goldsboro.

You're sowing good seed, friend. I'm praying for you today.

peace~elaine

Cheryl Barker said...

Love this update! And love that you are going to buy him a Bible. Hope your paths cross again real soon -- you are making an eternal investment!