In 2005 my family and I moved to Tennessee. For our two sons, it was a traumatic move from the place of their birth. The only place and people they had ever known. My oldest was just entering his senior year (very unhappy...), and my youngest was just entering the teen years.
We had to leave a wonderful German Shepherd/Rhodesian mix dog named Rusty behind. Sandy and I figured another dog would be a good thing. We were looking for a smaller dog that might survive Sandy's clean-freak fanaticism (You might say Ken's recent fake/real house illustration hit 'home').
The first ad we answered was the last Schnauzer puppy, a female runt, of a sweet lady named Joyce. It was the first litter of her dog, and she felt like she was selling her grand kids. We were not sure if she was buying us, or we were buying her dog... Somehow we both ended up satisfied, but she would be checking up on us!
That was Saturday. On Sunday, we went to the Church we had just decided to attend. Greeting us at the door was, you guessed it, Joyce. We all felt the 'click' of a cool celestial conspiracy.
We moved to Dillsburg a few months ago. On our third visit to MRC, we had just sat down, when a lady I had never seen before came bounding across the sanctuary. With this great big smile she said, “HI! I can't believe you are here! It is so good to see you!”
I grabbed Sandy's hand and was ready to swear I did not know this woman. Noticing my terrified face, Connie quickly explained that she was our next door neighbor and had seen me in the yard with our Schnauzer. Out of our huge community, with hundreds of churches, our next door neighbors 'happened' to attend MRC. Once again, in a brand new place, Sandy and I noted another celestial 'circumstance'.
Don't get me wrong, but it wasn't Joyce and Connie that were important in those events. They are both really wonderful ladies! But it was who was standing behind them, clear as could be, in those moments. Immanuel. God with us.
In both places, at both times, through both ladies, He brought peace on our earth and joy to our world.
Because of Immanuel, we have, and wish you a truly Merry Christmas!