Fourteen years ago this past December, my wife and I returned from Christmas shopping to find 17 messages on our answering machine. The last one, time stamped 30 minutes before, stated: “We are coming and pray that you will be home when we get there.” Our daughter, son-in-law and two grandkids arrived shortly after. The frightening word was “leukemia.” The next day, at Riley Children’s Hospital in Indianapolis, they confirmed the diagnosis and our 11 year old grandson was admitted for seven long months of treatments.
Today, Mike is a healthy, outgoing, handsome hunk of a guy. He is a college graduate and currently involved in a training program that will qualify him to work with elementary children who are having difficulties. More than any other descriptor, Mike is compassionate.
However, that is not the subject of this Blog, it is background. After that first prayerful day at Riley’s, we came home saddened, anxious, and exhausted. In our garage there is a blackboard, and that night we wrote “God is in charge, God loves us. God knows what he is doing”. That message has stayed on that blackboard since then, reminding us of whose we are and how much we are loved. Various grandkids have improved the handwriting, but the message has always remained the same.
Several years after that night at Riley’s, a UPS delivery man knocked on our door. He told my wife that he needed to tell us something. He said that over the past year or so there had been much stress in his family, serious divisions, and health problems, to the point where he was desperate. In the midst of those troubles, over a number of weeks, he noticed an unusual increase in the number of deliveries made to our home, with the packages being left in the garage. Each time he came face-to-face with our blackboard, time after time, until one day he simply stopped, and, for the first time in a long time, he prayed. He went on to say that since that day things have become much better at home. There are still health problems, there are still disagreements, but relationships have been healed and there is peace. He said that the blackboard and its message really spoke to him and he thanked us.
One never knows what simple act may impact others. What simple act may be the work of God in our lives. What simple act is a profound mystery, yet, it can change others, even when that simple act is hidden in a garage.