Friday, September 07, 2007

Mysterious Ways-Sept. 7

She put a pie in the oven and heard her phone ring. The school nurse said her son had a fever—could she pick him up?

Mental calculations began. The pie needed 45 minutes to bake. Satisfied, she zoomed out of her driveway to make the ten minute trip to school, run by the pharmacy, purchase over-the-counter medicines, get home and take the yummy pie out of the oven.

When I first read the story in Ronald Dunn’s Don’t Just Stand There, Pray Something, I thought, “Don’t do it. Something will go wrong.”

The mother-baker-nursemaid caught all green traffic lights, picked up her son, and drove to the pharmacy. Perhaps the on-schedule mom left the drugstore feeling smug until her hands fumbled inside her purse for car keys. A little sinking spell hit when she didn’t hear the familiar clank of metal.

At the car, Marie peeked in. Her son leaned his feverish forehead against the cool window saying, “Mom, they’re on the seat.”

Her mind conjured an overcooked pie and worse, yet, a charred house. But, she whispered a quick prayer, “Help me, Lord.” To her amazement she saw a clothes hanger on the ground. She unwound the corkscrew neck and set to work.

We’ve been the main character in similar scenes or watched a desperate soul try to lasso a latch. After futile attempts and more silent prayers, a young man walked up, “Ma’am, may I help you?”

Grateful, she handed off the spindly tool. He worked at worming the wire around, and in under a minute her car door unlocked. She beamed a compliment. “What a nice young man you are. You must be a really good boy.”

“No ma’am, I’m not a good boy.” He shuffled his feet, looked down in obvious embarrassment, “I just got out of prison.”

She said, “Praise God, he sent a professional!”

William Cowper (1731-1800), poet and hymnist wrote “God moves in mysterious ways, his wonders to perform.” If only the lessons from this mom’s story could sink in and settle.

Whenever God is invited to assist, we can expect the unexpected.

Reach Cathy at

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