I had an unusual thing happen to me late last week. After I had completed writing my post one evening, I turned on the television and watched a late program before I headed to bed. I still had my computer open and when I looked over, I had received an email from someone. At first, I thought it was spam. After all, you can’t believe how much spam TBTB attracts. The filters must be terrific, because it is rare that stuff actually makes it all the way into my inbox.
In this case, there was a comment from somebody that I at first thought was meant for somebody else. It was a short comment, “Jaime was my best friend. This is beautiful…” Now what in the world was this about? It was attached to a reference from a post that I wrote more than a year ago, on September 9, 2011. The post was about the upcoming 10th anniversary of 9/11 and I told the story of Jean Marie Wallendorf, one of the victims who was killed in the World Trade Center back on that fateful day in 2001.
If you haven’t seen the original post, it may be worth going back and reading. It told the story of Jean Marie, her life, her work and her family. I came across her name when we received a slip of paper at church the week-end after the attack. We were asked to pray for each family and the friends of people who had lost their lives at the hands of the terrorists. We picked Jean Marie’s name and dutifully prayed for her friends and family.
Anyway, suddenly the email made sense – Jean Marie was known as “Jamie” to her friends and now, eleven years after the attack, Jamie’s best friend, Melissa, saw a post that was written by me more than a year ago. I responded to her, and we traded several messages. What I found really noteworthy was the fact that Melissa had been missing Jaime and was surfing the internet, looking for stories about her friend. She stumbled across TBTB and experienced solace in the words of that article.
Melissa thought it was more than mere coincidence that she found us. After all, she was having a difficult day and suddenly, as she put it, she “received a little hug from God” when she needed it most. Oddly, I received a little hug from God as well. After all, sometimes I wonder if people are being affected the these posts that are designed to point them to God. Yet here she was – undeniably enriched by the experience of having an encounter with the living God through the pages of TBTB. What a blessing.
We traded a few emails and I found out that she is going through a transition of her own – and just when she needed it, God sent her a little surprise. I suggested a verse, which just happened to be Melissa’s verse through this season of her life. Isn’t that just like God? When you are a little down, or feeling lonely, God will usually send you a little surprise. I know that’s how it works with me.
On occasion, for example, I have to get myself pumped up to go to church after a particularly difficult week; or I am tired and would rather not do my personal devotions. But I always marvel at how God meets me when I need Him most. I never leave church disappointed and always feel better after my time in the Bible. Unfortunately, I don’t always realize when I need a special word from the Father. And there’s no doubt that He knows me better than I know myself.
So I stick to my discipline and know that I will have an encounter with the living God. And I have experienced more “hugs” than I can count. The Scripture is very clear that God expects us to pass on those same “hugs” to others. Paul, in Philippians 2:1-2, tells us, “If you have any encouragement from being united with Christ, if any comfort from his love, if any fellowship with the Spirit, if any tenderness and compassion, then make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and purpose.” In other words, don’t just receive “hugs,” but give them as well.
My encouragement this evening is that God wants to have an encounter with you. When you are having a tough day, God wants to send you a little surprise. It may be from Him directly, or through one of His believers. My prayer tonight is that God may use you to bring light into another person’t life. After all, the Father expects us to love one another and next time, He may just use you to deliver His “hug.” Have a great day in the Lord, grace and peace…