Or So I Thought
“Hello Laura,” the voice on the other end of the telephone wasn’t the one I expected to hear when I dialed. In fact, I was uncertain who the voice belonged to. I felt I’d awakened the person answering the phone.
“Hi. Is this Kathee?” I asked.
“No, it isn’t. But I’m so glad you called. I’ve been thinking I should call you. I was up again all night and scrolling through Facebook when I saw one of your posts. It reminded me that you are one person who I really needed to connect with because you understand things others just can’t. When I saw your number come up on the screen, it was uncanny.”
I immediately realized I had dialed the wrong number and pulled the cell phone from my ear to see the display screen. But to my surprise, the number listed on the screen did indeed say “Kathee.”
“Laura, are you there?” she asked.
“Yes, yes, I’m here. I was just checking something on my phone.” I said, “How are you, and what is going on?” I now recognized the voice’s owner.
She began to tell me about a situation she’s been dealing with in recent days. We have been friends for many years and have formed a close bond, even if we don’t talk for a few months at a time. We have multiple things in common including what she needed to share with me today. We are sisters in the journey of pain caused by a loved one.
I said little and just listened. She asked for no advice. And I offered none. I learned a long time ago that good friends don’t try to fix other people’s pain or problems. God does not call us to do that. He calls us to come alongside and stand in the pain with open ears and loving hearts, while suspending judgments and resisting temptation to supply answers so we, ourselves, can find an exit ramp from heartache.
As we talked, I realized that I was meant to connect with this dear friend. We shared stories, honored each other’s feelings and just sat holding one another over the miles in a gentle sway of support and concern.
The conversation lasted well over an hour and I was grateful, not for her situation, but for time to be with another in the common bond often formed by discomfort and uncertainty. When the call ended, I took a couple of minutes to find out how it was I had made this call in the first place.
Apparently, I had put this friend’s number under Kathee’s name. And while trying to connect with Kathee, God directed me to this friend. I sat in awe of the good Father who wastes no time when sending in the cavalry of support and understanding based in commonality and love. Just as this dear one has always been there to lend an ear and shoulder to me, I was privileged to be those things for her now.
I rested in silent prayer for a long time and then undertook the task of straightening out the phone directory I rely upon for remote communication. I couldn’t believe I’d made the mistake of putting one number under another person’s name. Normally I would have been embarrassed at dialing the wrong number. While pondering this, I remembered what I prayed in my devotional time earlier. I told God I was submitting my day to Him to do what He wanted and asked Him to send me where He needed me to do His work. I smiled in the knowledge that God does not have wrong numbers in His directory.
“Thank you, Lord,” I whispered.
Then I left my cell phone on the table, grabbed my car keys, jumped into Lynard the 1969 VW bug, and headed for the river to fellowship with my mentor.
Copyright April 2023 Laura L. Padgett, Montrose, CO