(Or, Edgar and the Birthday Cake)
We only saw him once, for a brief moment. We will likely never see him again in this world, and if we did, we wouldn't know. However, Edgar benefits from our encounter through Frances's prayers for him.
"I exhort therefore that, first of all, supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks be made for all men" (I Timothy 2:10).
We met the gentleman several years ago while standing in line at a local bakery. Frances enjoys Pollman's brownies, and I like their cakes, particularly, their birthday cakes. To be honest, we actually like everything Pollman's bakes and sells, so much so that we only stop by the store occasionally. On the day we met Edgar, I selected a piece of birthday cake the bakery sells in slices when a customer orders a cake, but does not pick it up. Edgar did the same, only he held in his arms 6-7 slices of the delicacy. This led to my commenting on his treasure trove of the birthday cake we both agreed to be the best in the world. "I'm visiting from California" said Edgar with a smile. "Every time I'm here in Mobile, I take as much of this cake home as I can, and freeze it to enjoy over the course of several weeks." This led to a pleasant, but brief back and forth between Edgar, Frances, and I as we stood in line. We left the store determined to remember the man in our prayers.
We stopped by Pollman's today. I hoped to see slices of the birthday cake, a fairly common occurrence at the store, but no customer had failed to pick up their order recently. Of course, I could have purchased an entire cake, come to think of it! Now there's an idea for next time! (a temptation I hope to overcome!). We purchased a sweet roll, brownie, and cookie, all quite delicious in their own right. I commented to Frances about the cake, and the encounter from several years ago came to mind. I asked her, "Do you remember that guy we saw a long time ago, the one who bought 6-7 pieces of the cake?" Frances responded without hesitation, "Oh, do you mean Edgar?" I knew immediately she had faithfully added Edgar to her prayer list on the day we met him, and had been praying for him ever since. I've remembered him a few times myself, but had forgotten his name and thus prayed for him anonymously. "Uh, Lord, remember that guy at Pollmans…."? Frances, however, dutifully recorded his name in her journal after meeting Edgar. More importantly, she regularly lifts his name and heart to God, the results of which we will only know when we get to Heaven.
I share all this to simply rejoice in the wonder of the gift our Heavenly Father gives to us in the privileged responsibility to heed the Apostle Paul's command to supplicate, pray, intercede, and give thanks for all. Once in a lifetime "chance encounters" provide altars of communion with God for the benefit of people He ushers onto the pathways of our lives. We may or may not remember their names, or we may never even know their names. It doesn't matter, of course, because we pray to the One who knows and sees all. As with Frances, it is a good practice when possible to record the names of people for whom we can seek God's involvement and working to establish or further a relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ. Think of it: Frances mentions Edgar to the Lord, a man we encountered for the briefest moment, but who may experience eternal benefits through her intercessions. A wonder indeed, and a gift of love from God's heart to both pray-er and prayee.
"Watch unto prayer."
(I Peter 4:7)
Weekly Memory Verse
Grace and peace be multiplied to you through the knowledge of God, and of Jesus our Lord.
(II Peter 1:2)