Ecclesiastes 3:11 He hath made every thing beautiful in his time: also he hath set the world in their heart, so that no man can find out the work that God maketh from the beginning to the end.It reminded me of an experience I had almost two years ago, just a couple of months after Brent's death. I was in my old neighborhood to play for a friend's funeral (remember that summer? That summer so full of loss? It still kind of blows my mind to think of it) and when I got in my car afterwards, I saw that I had a little bit of time before I had to be home. I felt a gentle nudge to see a friend I hadn't seen since the move, so I drove over to her house to meet her new baby.
As we visited, she shared with me that she had lost a brother in his twenties. We cried a little together, appreciated seeing each other and had a nice time just being together. As I was heading to the door to leave she said, "I need to apologize to you."
Of course, I couldn't imagine that she really did, but she proceeded to tell me that a couple of years previously, she had had a series of dreams about me. In her dreams, I kept telling her, "I would really love for you to make me dinner." (Honestly, what an obnoxious dream me! The nerve...) She said she would wake up and wonder what on earth these dreams were about. She thought about calling me to ask if there was something she could do for me, but was a little embarrassed and didn't want to bother me. As far as she could tell, everything was going just fine in my life.
It was months and months later that she learned that our family had been at that very time enduring a truly terrible ordeal. She felt guilty that she hadn't listened to the promptings in her dreams. She had thought about it ever since but had not ever shared the experience with me.
Here's what is so fantastic...when she told me this story, I was totally overwhelmed. The recounting of her experience at that time in my journey of grief told me something I needed more than I had needed a meal back in those rough times: it told me that God is mindful of me, in ALL of my extremities, enough so that he had sent dreams to my friends to ask them to watch out for me at some of the lowest times I'd ever imagined. And He had given her the chance to share this experience with me at the very moment I needed it most...NOT those years before, but at THAT time, years later. He made the experience beautiful in HIS time.
I have had many times that I have had good intentions to serve someone in some way, but something has stopped me from following through. (Sometimes, of course, this is NOT God's work, but my own failings.) At times, I've felt something blocking me until much later, a stupor of thought and action. When the way opens, and I finally follow through, I see His timing in its beautiful perfection. I don't think I've ever seen it in quite so elegant a presentation as this visit with my friend. His work is planned from beginning to end. While we're in the middle of it, it's hard to see OR accept the design. But it's there. And it's beautiful.
(And I think this ends my long-winded philosophical posts for a little while...I've got some family catch-up posts to write and pictures to post!)