A guest post. While on tour somewhere in the Mid-west, this story reached our ears from a good friend of ours. Bev said she wished people could’ve heard the story of what happened to her on her way to one of our Laughter is Sacred Space shows. So, here it is! We want to share it with you, as a story of hope – when God shows up at the most unanticipated places and times:
by Bev Miller
As a collector, I keep my eyes open for the word “antique” when I’m out and about. I passed the Then and Now store before I realized what it was, and did a U-turn. Upon walking in, I was greeted by the owner of the store, who was talking with Ben, an 18-year old young man hanging out at the counter. She asked where I was from. When I told her I’m from Ohio, she asked what brought me here to Bad Axe (Bad Axe is in the thumb of Michigan, about a four hour drive from home.) I told them there’s a play I came to see at a nearby high school. “I read something in the paper about that, what is it about?” she asked.
I went on to tell them that “Laughter is Sacred Space” is Ted’s own story about he and Lee and Ted’s struggles dealing with Lee’s suicide. The young man, Ben, was amazed, “You came all the way from Ohio to see this?” I told them some of my own story and said, “As a followup to Ted’s Saturday evening, I am sharing, from my own experience, about dealing with bipolar, at the church that is sponsoring the performance. You are welcome to attend. It’s free.”
The store owner said she couldn’t but encouraged Ben to go. She was persistent. “I know you’re not supposed to ride with strangers,” I told him, “but I could pick you up.” And he went.
Ben went with me to Pigeon River Mennonite Church the next day too, on Sunday. And they welcomed him. Two adults spent time talking with Ben, giving him phone numbers. I knew Ben for about 24 hours before returning home. One of the last things he said was, “Is it okay if I invite you to my graduation party?” I am touched.
Ben and I are now Facebook friends, messaging, texting and phoning. He is interested in the stories.
“Can you send me more stories the Bible has?” he messaged me on Facebook after I cut and pasted some NIV verses of stories Ted had referenced. When he gets a Bible, I want him to start with the Gospel of John, and not “in the beginning.”
I went to Bad Axe to give, but I got. I wanted to be a blessing, but I was the one blessed. I had lunch with Ben on Sunday. As we finished, Ben told me “If you would have walked in two minutes later, I would have been gone and we wouldn’t have met.”
U-turns can sometimes mean we almost missed an opportunity for a rendezvous with God.