After conducting a service last night, Frances and I went to a local coffeeshop we frequent. We sat alone in the back of the establishment until a young man and lady came to a table not too far from us. They appeared to be teenagers, and also looked and sounded (although we weren’t intentionally trying to eavesdrop) as if they were on a first time out together.
My first reaction involved relief. “Thank You, Lord, that I’m past that part of life and don’t have to relive it!” I can recall few experiences of life that seemed more awkward and nerve-wracking. However, I then thought of the early days of mine and Frances’s relationship, which was more than thirty years ago. It seems like yesterday, however, especially in how easy it is to remember so many of the emotions and thoughts of our early days together. In that regard, I said in my heart another “Thank You, Lord.”
As we prepared to leave the coffeeshop, the thought came to me that we should send two cups of ice cream back to the young people’s table (anonymously). I mentioned this to Frances, who smiled and said, “I was thinking the exact same thing!” (after all these years, our minds tend to travel on the same track!). We both had the thought that if the Lord meant for these two people to be together for a lifetime, it might be a nice memory (and mystery) for them to recall through the years. We got in line to buy the ice cream, but then glanced back to see the young couple also leaving. Alas, our romantic gesture didn’t come to pass!
As we walked to our car, we both expressed disappointment that we weren’t able to fulfill our plans. However, we also trusted that it wasn’t the Lord’s will, and I commented to Frances that since we couldn’t send the ice cream, we would have to resort to Plan B, as it were. “We can pray for them,” I said, and yet again, Frances had already turned to the same page. I’m certain that our visits to the coffeeshop will now include many remembrances of the young couple, and many quiet requests that the Lord will work in their lives, whether they are meant to be together, or not.
The Lord’s “Plan B” is a wonderful thing. What our hands often cannot do for others because we lack opportunity, our hearts can accomplish because our Lord beckons that we offer “supplications, prayers,intercessions, and giving of thanks, be made for all men” (I Timothy 2:1). Born again believers in the Lord Jesus Christ are walking temples of prayer wherein the work of God begins as He works in our hearts to make intercession, and then as we respond with simple and trusting requests that He will touch people just as they need to be touched. “Call unto Me, and I will answer thee and show thee great and mighty things which thou knowest not!” (Jeremiah 33:3).
Ice cream received anonymously would have been nice, and intriguing. Better still will be God’s working in the lives of two young people who will never know that two older (not old!) people will enjoy the memory of a sweet moment, and the ongoing blessedness of praying. Our Heavenly Father is kind to provide such opportunity, both for the pray-ees and the pray-ers.
“Watch unto prayer.”
(I Peter 4:7)