I am really happy to have a guest writer today. This writer exudes kindness, love, compassion and interest in all those she meets. I have learnt a great deal from her on how to do friendships and also how to love those that the world would deem unloveable. She has worked with the down and outs, the drug addicts, the prostitutes all the way to the wealthy, the business people and those that just have it all figured out. Who she is has never changed when dealing with any of these individuals. Her love for people has been consistent and never partial.
The writer today is Vera Lloyd. My mother. My teacher. My friend.
When you read this story I truly hope you get a glimpse of who she is and that you feel the love that she has for people. I have been so privileged to witness this.
A CHANCE ENCOUNTER ~ A Hug from God
I live in a suite above a garage in a lovely home in the country. It has been a blessing.
The house was acquired for a movie set and unusual as this would be, I was informed by the owners that I could remain in the suite while the movie was being filmed.
The first day went fine and I let the set up people know that I was in the house, and that I would park my car down the street. The next day I came home at around 9:45pm to a “shoot” in the driveway with all the cameras rolling, the crew filling the driveway and the house and driveway decorated as a Christmas scene.
I left the engine running and got out of my car to ask if I could speak to someone in charge so that I could get back in my suite. A young man approached me, speaking with a strong accent, and asked me, “Ma’am, how can I help you?” I told him that I lived in the suite above the garage and that I would need to get back into my suite. Now looking back, I can understand how crazy those words were considering they had acquired the home to make a movie for three days. After I told him, he said, “But Ma’am I don’t understand”, so a couple of more times I repeated that I lived above the garage and that I needed to get back into my suite as I didn’t have anywhere to go for the night. So the young man asked me to park my car for a moment and he would show me, as well as take me to the parking lot that had been reserved down the road for extra parking.
As he walked down the road, I was wondering what he was thinking about as I followed him in my car down this country road, with no street lighting and stars up above shining and twinkling as all this was unfolding.
When I parked and got out of my car, I thanked him for bringing me to the parking spot. I said, “ It’s Daniel, right?” I remembered he had told me his name. “Daniel”, I said, “where do you come from”? He told me, “South America”. I said, “I have been to Argentina”, and he said, “Buenos Aires”? So I said, “Yes”.
I will never forget that moment, when I felt a love for this young man. It was a God appointment!
The conversation started to flow as we were walking along a very dark country road, with a few headlights here and there as vehicles were coming and leaving the movie set way down the road. We stopped and talked a couple of times and in the conversation we talked about his life and mine, about his life in his home country and the places that he had travelled and the plans that he still wanted to do. We talked about his wife and his son, about the things that he had already accomplished in his young life, challenges along the way, disappointments and his hard times where his wife went through cancer treatment. We talked about his passions, the work that he was doing presently as a logistic movie set director. I told him that God had gifted him in what he was doing, it was clearly a gift from God and that he was being very creative in what he was doing.
All the time that we walked along the road, I knew that this was no chance encounter, this was a God appointment and I knew in my heart that I was to pray a prayer of blessing over him. There was no doubt in my heart that I was to do this, that I could not go back to my home without praying over him. It felt like I already knew him, just like a brother. I felt God’s love for him. I expressed God’s love for him, to him.
Then the moment came, I said, “Daniel, can I pray for you? A prayer of blessing over you?” He said, “Of course”. So I put my hand on his shoulder and I prayed. The words flowed from my heart, but I knew that they first flowed from the heart of God for this young man. I prayed that God would bless his life, in all that he was doing. That God would guide him on his journey, but more than anything that he would know God’s love for him in a deep way and that God would become real to him. When the prayer was over, Daniel stepped back and he said, “Wow, no one has ever done that for me in my life”. He was completely astounded by the prayer.
Love was present in a very tangible way.
Daniel and I continued to talk and walk down the country road. He shared his plans for taking a trip to some eastern European countries, he mentioned that he was hoping to go to St. Petersburg, so I told him of my trip to St. Petersburg and said to him, ”You have to go! It’s the most beautiful city, full of colorful palaces and canals just like Venice!” By this time we had reached the white picket fence outside the house, and again we stopped and chatted more. Then Daniel said, “Come, I want to show you the house!”
He took me inside the house that I am familiar with, but now had been completely transformed into Christmas. The family room now had red curtains on the windows, Christmas stockings on the fireplace and the furniture rearranged. Cameras were everywhere and the rooms full with people. How did I get to this place of being invited into the movie set and stepping into a setting unfamiliar to me? I felt the hand of God in this divine appointment.
We chatted a little more, talking about the owners of the home and about their story of how they have fostered 65 children over the years and are still fostering. How amazing is their story!
Then Daniel escorted me to my door and said, “Goodnight!”
The next day I came home after work, drove my car down to the overflow parking area and then walked back to the house. As soon as I reached the driveway, Daniel appeared. He came towards me and said my name and an endearing phrase, which took me completely by surprise. He embraced me with a big hug and so I spoke into his ear, “Bendiciones”, which means “blessings”, one of a few Spanish words I know! He was thrilled!
They were starting another shoot and so I asked Daniel if he would like me to return later, but he wanted to continue the conversation we had the night before! He invited me into the food tent where he started to ask me questions and again I shared the love of God for him. The love was flowing!
There were cameramen and crew members all around us. An actor came into the tent for food while Daniel grabbed some soup. He told me that he had called his wife to tell her that he had met me and about our conversation. He had some questions for me. It was obvious our encounter the night before had been on his heart. He wanted to know how I had come to know God and why I wanted to know Him. I shared with him that as a little girl my family went to church, but that I could remember having a heart to know God. I shared many stories of how I had experienced God in my life and how He had revealed and continues to reveal that He is real and that He loves me. It was like time stood still, but this love was flowing towards Daniel. I told him that the same love was for him too. He asked me how I had travelled to the places that I had been to, “What was your reason for going?
I told Daniel that in High School I had studied two cities: one was Vancouver and the other was Buenos Aires, Argentina, and that I now had been to both. I told him how God puts desires in our hearts and then He fulfills them. He asked me why I went to St. Petersburg. I told him that I had a dream in the year 2000, and in the dream I was in St. Petersburg and I was standing in front of a large building. Six years later, my pastor in my church announced that they would be taking a team to St. Petersburg. I told him that my heart started to beat fast and wondered if that was about the dream that I had. I told him God had used people to pay for the whole trip for me and that I went to see the building in my dream, which was the Hermitage. I encouraged him to go.
I then asked him, “Does anything that we have talked about over the last two days mean anything to you?” He said, “More than you can know!”
Then out of my mouth came, “Daniel, did you ever know God when you were a young boy?” He told me that his parents were Christians, but he had pushed God aside and began living his own life. He told me that his Mom had died from cancer and that was the last time that he had talked to God. I told him that God was after his heart! I told him that he would see his Mom again because in my heart I knew that he would come to know God’s love. I just knew it, I could see the look in his eyes and he was touched by what I had said.
I told him that I believed that God had me move to this home last summer so that I would meet him and tell him that God still loves him and wanted him to know that. He asked some more questions, and continually it came back to, “God loves you so much Daniel and that’s why we have met through unusual circumstances of me living in the house while a movie is being filmed. Unheard of!”
He walked me to my door and said, “Goodnight”.
This was a hug from God! For Daniel.
The time he pushed God aside was just yesterday because God is outside our timing. Today was the day that Daniel experienced the love of God again in a fresh new way. I know that he was overwhelmed by what had happened in our ”chance encounter”, or should I say “divine appointment”.
He was apprehended by the presence of LOVE on a country road in the dark of night, with stars twinkling above. How much does God love us? So much, that He orchestrates divine appointments to connect someone to His love for them.
And I was privileged to be a part of the drama that unfolded.
You never know when the sun arises for each new day, what that day will bring. Will it be like the day before, or will there be a surprise divine appointment? Will you meet someone to share God’s love with? Listen for a whisper when you meet a stranger, perhaps there will be words of love that you carry in your heart for that person. Perhaps you will connect that person to God’s love. You may be a part of a drama that is about to unfold on earth under heaven.