We were short-handed this month in our ministry because all of our friends decided to go on vacation. So, we asked our neighbor from down the street to sing with us. We had learned that he had a great voice after a karoake night that our neighborhood had.
Lucky for us, our neighbor was delighted to help us even after he found out it was Father’s day. We were so grateful. After a couple of practices, we could tell that he had something to say, and one night we spent a couple of hours talking about his faith. He described himself as an agnostic, believing that there was something up there, but not being able to put words into it. Through the conversation, we were able to put his mind at ease and let him know that although it was a ministry, there were no requirements about the personal faith of anyone and that the whole purpose of the ministry was to give hope to the people we visited and in some way make the world a better place. It was evident that it was something that he could live with, so we moved forward.
I prayed that it would be a good experience for him because I know that God works through the heart in ways that we can’t always understand. So, when a sweet elderly lady came down and sat on a couch across from him toward the end of the service, it seemed heaven-sent. Both my husband and I were out greeting the seniors and shaking hands, and being preoccupied with others had missed the little lady who sat across from our neighbor. She looked across at him and he smiled at her. I turned just in time to see him cross the gap between the two couches and crouch his lanky figure down to speak to her. I saw the interaction between them, and I saw the little lady start to cry.
She was dressed so nicely, and he commented on her lovely outfit and asked her if she had any children. No children. No family. My heart quickened a little when I heard him say that she reminded him of his own mother, now long passed away. She said, “Maybe you could be my son when you’re here.” Tears started to come to my neighbor’s eyes then. All the while, I pretended not to be paying attention too much and I started working to put away the equipment that we used for the service. As we walked out of the facility, my neighbor’s eyes met mine and we exchanged a knowing glance.
“That’s why we keep coming back,” I said.
Even so, I couldn’t help but wonder at how God had coordinated that touching moment, clearly specifically meant for my nieghbor and for the lovely little lady in the peacock blue outfit. Two people coming together with different backstories, creating a new kind of family in a moment’s time.